The Spanish publication reports that Los Blancos are negotiating the transfer of Toni Kroos from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.
Kroos has just one year remaining on his deal at the Allianz Arena and has appeared unwilling to commit to new terms.
Marca claim Madrid will sign the 24-year-old for around £23 million, with the German international receiving a five-year contract worth £4 million each year.
Once confirmed, it will end months of speculation over the midfielder’s future.
Kroos, who impressed in a deep-lying role when Bayern knocked United out of last season’s Champions League, has only a year left to run on his contract at the German club.
Yet despite his ability to also play in the No. 10 role or as box-to-box midfielder, Van Gaal, who is aware of Kroos’s abilities from his own time managing Bayern, has decided he should not be a target for the club this close season.
Barcelona, per reports in SPORT, had also been linked with the player.
For those reasons, the arrival of Kroos in the Spanish capital might be even more well received. Writing for Marca, Alberto Rubio calls him "the complete midfielder of the 21st century."
Under both Jupp Heynckes and Josep Guardiola he has been a regular in a high-quality Bayern side, a testament to his ability, while Joachim Low also heavily relies on him for the German national team, with whom he is participating in the World Cup with at present.
There can be no doubt that if Kroos goes to the Bernabeu, he goes to start games.
Bleacher Report's Karl Matchett previously explained how "by and large, Kroos [was] the first-choice central attacking midfielder for Bayern [in the 2012-13 season], playing in the middle of the line of three attackers behind a central striker."
However, he has operated deeper under Guardiola without losing any of his effectiveness. In Carlo Ancelotti's preferred 4-3-3 system, it is likely he would have to operate a little deeper as well.
One man he won't be budging from the line-up is Luka Modric, one of Madrid's most talented performers last season.
But that does leave a long list of midfielders at the club, and Ancelotti may be inclined to operate a one-in, one-out policy if he does rubber-stamp Kroos' arrival.
One man immediately in the firing line could be fellow German Sami Khedira.
The Mirror says that Arsenal are lining up a £23 million move for Khedira, which would cover Madrid's outlay on Kroos—something that is more important in modern football due to the new Financial Fair Play rules.
Xabi Alonso, despite rumblings over poor performances recently, should remain at the club, while younger players like Asier Illarramendi and Casemiro may well leave on loan.
Reports in Portugal, per Football Espana, suggest Porto are keen to take Illarramendi for a season.
Angel di Maria and Isco, who are by far Madrid’s most attacking options for midfield, are also options to play in Ancelotti’s midfield, leaving the Italian—if Kroos signs—with potentially eight players for just three spaces in the team.
That doesn’t add up.
Kroos would be a good thing for Real Madrid, but his relocation to the Spanish capital could end up being a bad thing for some members of the current squad.