Espanyol boss Quique Sanchez Flores has identified Stephane Mbia as a potential replacement for Javi Fuego, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Former Valencia midfielder Fuego has been strongly linked with a move to Villarreal as Javi Calleja looks to improve his options ahead of a potential top four challenge.
The interest from the Yellow Submarine in the Espanyol man comes after seeing Bruno Soriano fail to recover from surgery and feature this season.
And, the serious nature of the interest has led Espanyol boss Flores to look to the Chinese Super League where former Sevilla man Mbia is currently playing for Hebei China Fortune.
The Cameroon midfielder would seemingly welcome a return back to La Liga after enjoying a previous spell in the league, whilst the arrival of Javier Mascherano from Barcelona to the Chinese club could see him move on.
31-year-old Mbia won two Europa League titles with Sevilla during his time at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, whilst he has spent time France, England and Turkey, playing with Trabzonspor before moving to China.
Espanyol face Barcelona on Thursday evening in the Copa del Rey QF and they will be hoping to build on their 1-0 first leg win over Ernesto Valverde’s men.