Real Madrid offered Asier Illarramendi to Napoli, according to Il Mattino newspaper.
The 24-year-old midfielder joined from Real Sociedad last summer for a huge €30m transfer fee.
That was the highest sum Real Madrid had ever paid for a home-grown player and he was seen as the natural heir to Xabi Alonso.
According to Il Mattino, Real Madrid approached Napoli and asked if they wanted to take Illarramendi on loan for this season.
It’s reported Rafa Benitez replied to wait until after the second leg of the Champions League play-off with Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday.
That result, with the first leg 1-1 at the Stadio San Paolo, will dictate their transfer strategy.
Betting on Serie A? Bet365 are offering a 100% deposit bonus, up to £200 - find out more