David Beckham could be the key to the future of Olympique Lyon midfielder Mickael Essien.
The Ghana international was the subject of a £15 million bid this week from Chelsea, which was turned down flat by Lyon chiefs.
Manchester United and Arsenal are also chasing Essien - as are Spanish giants Real Madrid.
While Essien would like a move to Old Trafford, it's understood he also favours a switch to Madrid to team up with one of his heroes, England captain Beckham.
Real won't match Chelsea, which are prepared to go as high as £18 million for the Ghanaian, but know the influence of Beckham and Essien's ambition to play for the glamour Spanish club could be enough to see the deal swing in their favour as the summer market opens.