Spanish newspaper El Confidencial claims Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho turned down a bid from Real Madrid for midfielder Ramires in the summer.
Los Blancos reportedly sounded out a potential 28-million-euro move for the Brazilian player but were told the west London club would not be selling to the Spanish giants.
Real manager Carlo Ancelotti was linked with a number of central midfielders in the summer including the likes of Arturo Vidal, Marco Verratti and Ramires.
His failure to land a defensive midfielder has come back to haunt him. Xabi Alonso told Los Blancos he wanted to leave the Bernabeu towards the end of the transfer window and completed a move to Bayern Munich.
Sami Khedira, who was rumoured to be heading towards the exit door, stayed at the club in the end, but will be missing for the next eight weeks with a thigh strain.
It means Los Blancos are short in the centre of the park, with Ancelotti having to turn to Asier Illarramendi to fill the void.
Following the arrival of Cesc Fabregas at Stamford Bridge this summer, Ramires has had to settle for a place on the bench so far this season. Although there is now word yet of Los Blancos going back in for him, a move in the January transfer window could yet happen.