Manchester United and Tottenham appear as if they could potentially miss out on a deal for Ezequiel Garay, with speculation suggesting that the Benfica defender is now a target for free-spending Monaco.
According to Portuguese publication O Jogo, the Ligue 1 title chasers dispatched scouts to observe Garay - along with teammate Andre Gomes - during Thursday's Europa League quarter-final second-leg tie against AZ Alkmaar at the Estadio da Luz.
The same source further suggests that those representatives were impressed with what they saw, with Monaco already thinking about their probable presence in the Champions League next season.
Monaco's apparent interest in Garay is obviously likely to come as a blow to Manchester United and Tottenham, with both Premier League clubs having been credited with an interest in the €20 million-rated Argentina international.
While Monaco would - barring a catastrophic late-season collapse - have the advantage of being able to offer the holy grail of elite-level European football if they were indeed to pursue Garay, both of those aforementioned sides will surely be hoping that they can still compete for the player given their obvious need for defensive reinforcement.
With captain Nemanja Vidic set to depart Old Trafford for Inter Milan upon the expiration of his contract this summer and doubts persisting over the future of Patrice Evra, Manchester United boss David Moyes will surely need to add players with experience to fill the inevitable void.
Tottenham, meanwhile, appear to have missed out on a return to the Champions League following a difficult 2013/14 campaign, with Tim Sherwood not impressing as a worthy successor to Andre Villas-Boas.
Tottenham have shipped a plethora of goals to supposed top-four rivals under both managers this season and a player of Garay's caliber could certainly help to tighten the defence at White Hart Lane.