Real Madrid President Florentino Perez has confirmed the club has tried to sign Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba in the past.
Los Blancos were linked with Pogba throughout the summer, while Lewandowski has also been a rumoured target for the club in recent years.
Per Goal, Perez said:
"There are players who don't get sold.
"We went for Lewandowski for several years and nothing happened because he has no clause, and they [Bayern Munich] won't sell him.
"There's no way. And that's happened with Pogba.
"When certain players can be sold, we can go for them."
Pogba sparked speculation on his future in June when he said he would be open to a "new challenge."
His brother, Manchego striker Mathias Pogba, talked up a move to the Santiago Bernabeu:
🗣️ Paul Pogba's brother, Mathias, on the midfielder's future: "Everyone knows that my brother could use Real Madrid and Zidane. Those who have to talk are Madrid and Manchester United. "I don't know what to say...Zidane has always spoken well of my brother, it's an honour." https://t.co/3UsWM72kkK
Real were also lacking depth in midfield amid the rumours, per sports writer Andy West:
Although Pogba has had issues with consistency at United, he is their most valuable player.
The Frenchman returned to the club from Juventus in 2016 for a then-world-record fee of £89 million.
The departures of Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera this year, and United's subsequent failure to bring in any replacements, may have driven his value up further, as the club would have been left with only Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic and Fred as their senior options in central midfield had he been sold.
As for Lewandowski, he will have put himself on Los Blancos' radar in 2013, when he scored four goals against them for Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League (U.S. only):
He moved to Bayern in 2014 and has returned at least 40 goals in all competitions in each of the past four seasons.
His record makes him one of the few goalscorers in Europe who has come close to matching Cristiano Ronaldo's efforts in recent years, so while he does not play in the same position, he would have made a fine replacement for the Portuguese superstar.
The Pole is 31 and has four years remaining on his contract with Bayern, so a move to Real no longer looks to be a possibility.
Real could reignite their pursuit of Pogba next summer. He will have just one year left on his deal then, so they may have more success in prising him from Old Trafford.