Spanish giants Real Madrid have made England captain David Beckham their main summer transfer target, according to reports.
Beckham is contracted to Man Utd until 2005
The European champions are said to be preparing a £40m bid for the Manchester United midfielder.
Jorge Valdano, Real's managing director and the man responsible for bringing Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane and Luis Figo to the Bernabeu, confirmed he was interested in signing Beckham.
"The way Real Madrid have pulled off the biggest transfer market coups of the last few seasons, Beckham looks like the next big project for us," he is quoted as saying in Spanish newspapers.
United take on Real in the quarter-finals of the Champions League next month and Valdano insisted: "I don't want to speak more about Beckham at the moment because we have a huge contest against his team.
"I don't want to be accused of saying things which heighten the tension around these games.
"I would prefer that we only speak about football until these two games are out of the way."
Beckham said it was an honour to be linked with the champions of Europe.
"Any player would be honoured to be spoken about by Real Madrid," he said in The Sun newspaper.
"They have great players and a great tradition."
Reports say that Figo could be offered to United as part of the deal.
Beckham signed a new £70,000-a-week deal with United last season which takes him through to the summer of 2005.
But he has constantly been linked with a move away from Old Trafford and a transfer to Real would net the England captain a six-figure salary.