Stoke City chairman Peter Coates has confirmed that the club has made an enquiry about the availability of Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy.
The 33-year-old has struggled to hold down a regular place in the starting XI at the Bernabeu and the club are believed to be willing to let him leave.
Stoke manager Tony Pulis has said he is looking to strengthen his squad during the January transfer window.
Coates said: “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.”
The Dutchman scored 150 times for Manchester United in all competitions during his five seasons at Old Trafford, where he won the Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup before an £11million move to Madrid in 2006.