Manchester United will reportedly miss out on Daniele De Rossi after being gazumped by Manchester City.
According to the Daily Star, the Barclays Premier League champions had planned an £18 million bid for the Roma midfielder, but their Manchester rivals are ready to blow that offer out of the water with £35 million.
De Rossi has been linked with a move away from the Stadio Olimpico for a number of months after falling out with the fans and suffering serious problems in his personal life.
The Telegraph initially intimated that the Italy international had urged his representatives to organise a move away from Rome in the summer, which was said to have alerted United to his potential availability.
It was then suggested that United had sent their top scout Martin Ferguson - brother of United boss Sir Alex Ferguson - to run the rule over De Rossi on more than one occasion last season, and everything pointed towards a transfer window bid.
However, if reports are to be believed, United are set to miss out on the 27-year-old, who is said to have been identified as the perfect candidate to fill the hole left by Paul Scholes and Owen Hargreaves.
But Eastlands and not Old Trafford now looks to be the more likely destination for the fiery Italian, who would add to a bevy of central midfield talent already at the disposal of Roberto Mancini.
Meanwhile, United and City are expected to find out next week if they have been successful in their pursuit of Udinese winger Alexis Sanchez.
Both United and City are understood to have been granted permission to speak to the Chilean, but he is said to prefer a move to Barcelona.