Manchester United could be set to miss out on another transfer target, this time young Benfica star Axel Witsel.
Reports last week suggested Sir Alex Ferguson wanted to bring the Belgium international to Old Trafford, with Real Madrid said to be the Red Devils main rivals for him.
Now a report from talkSPORT claims super-rich Russian Premier League side Anzhi Makhachkala have stepped in front of United, as well as Jose Mourinho’s side, in the race to snap up the versatile midfielder.
The report suggests Guus Hiddink’s side are willing to meet Benfica’s £31.5million valuation of Witsel, which neither Ferguson or Madrid were willing to meet up to now.
Anzhi made Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o one of the highest paid players in world football and would have no trouble in outbidding the other two sides for the 23-year-old’s signature.
Witsel only signed for Benfica from Standard Liege in Belgium a year ago, but he has been so impressive that a number of Europe’s bigger clubs appear to have considered paying the big money required to buy up the remainder of his contract.