According to Spanish media, Manchester United are now ahead in the race to capture coveted attacker Angel di Maria, who was previously an apparent lock to sign for Ligue 1 heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain.
What perturbed the Parisians was the seemingly exorbitant nature of the player's price-tag, as selling club Real Madrid believe the Argentine has a market value of €70 million (£55 million) and PSG need to be wary about excess spending in order to be compliant with Financial Fair Play - particularly in a summer when they have already acquired David Luiz from Chelsea for £50 million.
A summer transfer even appeared to be off, after di Maria was photographed training happily and sharing jokes with his team-mates at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu just last week, however, according to MARCA, Manchester United "look odds-on" to sign di Maria. Their report even contains a headline claiming that van Gaal is "desperately seeking" the star forward.
MARCA write: "Following PSG's withdrawal from the race, Louis van Gaal is willing to pay whatever it takes to sign the Argentine, which could be up to £55 million."
Van Gaal recently told the Mail on Sunday: "We have five No 9s and four No 10s and we don't have wingers to play attacking width, not at the highest level, of Ronaldo or Di Maria or something like that," which suggests that he is weighing-up the advantages of making a substantial bid for the Real Madrid man.
Manchester United begin their 2014-15 Premier League season on Saturday, August 16 against Swansea City and could make significant moves in the transfer market ahead of this date, with apparent deals for Arturo Vidal and Daley Blind also progressing well.