Manchester United and Chelsea have been given a potential transfer boost in the race to sign Andrea Pirlo, with rivals Inter Milan dismissing speculation linking them with the player.
The Italian club’s new majority shareholder, Erick Thohir, has been linked with a number of big-name purchases since taking over at the San Siro.
However, he’s denied that the likes of Pirlo are already on the club’s transfer radar, with discussions yet to take place over who Inter will look to add to the squad.
"When someone writes that I want this or that player, that's an untruth,” he told Tutto Mercato, according to Sky Sports.
"The market is closed and I have never spoken (about it). Before I decide to buy one, I have to consult with (Massimo) Moratti and the coach (Walter Mazzarri)."
The news serves as a potential boost to interested Premier League parties, of which the Red Devils and Blues are said to be.
Speculation earlier this month claimed Real Madrid, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are also monitoring the situation, with Pirlo’s contract set to expire at Juventus at the end of the season.
The Italian international’s arrival at Manchester United would be extremely well received if the Premier League champions were able to lure the veteran midfielder to the club.
New manager David Moyes struggled in the transfer market after replacing Sir Alex Ferguson at the Red Devils helm, missing out on Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara before securing the signature of Marouane Fellaini.
Pirlo is still recognised as one of the world’s best, and despite his advancing years, the signing would be a major transfer coup for Manchester United.
The same would be true if Chelsea lured the player to west London, although the club have adopted a slightly different transfer policy in recent times.
Romelu Lukaku, Oscar and Kevin De Bruyne are examples of three young players who have been drafted in at Stamford Bridge, and Jose Mourinho continued that philosophy following his re-appointment with the Blues.
Pirlo's experience could be invaluable in helping the development of some of the rising stars at Chelsea, but the club will face competition from across Europe to secure the player's signature.