Jose Mourinho is hopeful of tempting his former player Ricardo Carvalho away from Chelsea to join him at Serie A champions Inter Milan.
The Portugal defender, who played under his compatriot at Porto and Chelsea, was linked to Inter after Mourinho took over last season but a deal never materialised.
"Carvalho is one of the best central defenders in the world," Mourinho was quoted as saying by Friday's La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"A year ago it was impossible to think of him. Now I think it is."
Mourinho said Inter were also interested in signing Dutch club Twente Enschede's 20-year-old Austrian winger Marko Arnautovic.
Brazilian wing-back Maicon will not leave Inter Milan this summer despite reported interest from Chelsea and Real Madrid to acquire his services.
The 27-year-old is under contract with the Italian champions until June 2013 and has no intention of leaving the Nerazzurri this summer.
"I will remain at Inter,'' the Brazil international said. "I like the Italian league. I am happy here and delighted that this team has allowed me to prove my quality in Italy and in Europe.
"It is thanks to Inter that I have returned to the national team.''
Maicon has made 28 league appearances for Inter this season and started in all of the Nerazzurri's Champions League games.