Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is making it a personal quest to beat Barcelona to the signing of Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas. Sport says Florentino, tired of Barca's dominance in the Liga at his club's expense and wary of the growing discontent amongst the faithful, is determined to deliver a serious blow to their eternal rivals with the capture of Cesc.
He and his No2, Jose Angel Sanchez, have been plotting since the New Year on plans to land the Gunners captain.
Real president Florentino is convinced he can persuade Arsenal to sell with a mega bid, while he is also confident he can charm Cesc into moving to Madrid - despite the protests of family and friends.
Cesc's father, Francesc, has already hit out at the press for talking up the prospect of Real moving for his son.
"It's a complete show of disrespect," he snapped. "When there is no league, they have to fill the newspapers with something else."