Stoke City chairman Peter Coates has revealed that the Potters have made an attempt to sign Real Madrid's former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy.
Real have told the 33-year-old Netherlands international that he is free to find a new club this month, but it is not thought that a move to the Britannia Stadium would appeal to him.
However, Coates has not given up hope, saying:"It may be a long shot but we've made enquiries and we'll see what comes from them.
"It depends on him wanting games to make sure he goes to the World Cup.
"We're too far away from it to know how realistic the chances are of it happening. We really don't know at this stage."
Earlier in the week, boss Tony Pulis had tried to dampen down speculation linking the club with a move for the prolific forward, saying when he was asked if there was any truth in the rumours:"No, not at all.
"There's millions of players leaving and millions of players coming in. People have to fill their back pages, you just have to get on with it."