Real Madrid outcast Angel di Maria, 26, is reportedly "pinning his hopes on Manchester United," according to a headline on MARCA printed earlier today, Thursday.
It had been suggested that Premier League interest in Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani, particularly from Arsenal, could be useful as the Ligue 1 side are receptive to bids of £51 million in order to satisfy Financial Fair Play demands before moving ahead with their push for Argentine attacker di Maria.
But MARCA believe PSG have "bowed out" on a permanent basis, leaving di Maria with little options as he failed to make it off the bench during Los Blancos's 2-0 UEFA Super Cup triumph over Sevilla.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti sent messages to a number of playing staff whose futures remain ambiguous. World Cup winning midfielder Sami Khedira looked uncomfortable in the dugout as he was not even listed amongst the substitutes - and di Maria did not even make it off the bench.
The report said: "di María only has one real option able to meet Real Madrid's demands and that is Manchester United under the leadership of Louis Van Gaal, who singled him out for praise last weekend, saying: 'we don't have wingers of the highest level, like Cristiano or Di Maria'."
United have been speculatively-linked with a flurry of mid-August transfer activity including potential deals for Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo, Juan Cuadrado, Arturo Vidal and Mehdi Benatia.