Manchester United are reportedly unwilling to meet the asking price for Juan Mata outlined by Chelsea and are preparing to make an offer significantly below the £37 million desired.
It was claimed on Monday night that the Premier League champions had made a formal approach for the unsettled Spain international, although this has since been denied by the club.
Manchester United are, however, expected to lodge an offer for Mata in the coming days although it may not be a bid sizeable enough to convince Chelsea to sell their two-time player of the year.
David McDonnell, journalist for The Mirror, reports that Manchester United will make an initial offer of £27 million - some £10 million less than the price tag Chelsea have placed on the Spain international.
Manchester United, it is claimed, have set £30 million as the highest they will go in their pursuit of Mata, which would mean the club would not surpass the record fee they paid to sign Dimitar Berbatov from Tottenham.
There is, of course, the chance this stance could be altered if negotiations reach the final days of the transfer window and Manchester United, like the summer, have failed to add to their squad.
David Moyes fought a long battle over the summer months to sign Marouane Fellaini, and the club ended up paying a fee far greater than they had initially imagined in order to recruit the Belgian.
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