Bayern Munich scouted Manchester United's top centre-back target Ezequiel Garay at last week's Europa League final, but have moved too late to stop the Argentine international completing a summer switch to Zenit Petersburg.
Garay has been consistently linked with a move to United for the last two seasons thanks to a string of accomplished performances for Benfica, but each time the transfer window has rolled round the Red Devils have decided not to make a formal bid.
The 27-year-old's contract in Lisbon expires next summer and Benfica are ready to sanction his sale this week to fetch a reasonable fee before it's too late, a stance which Bild reports led Bayern to consider beating United and Zenit to a cut-price transfer.
Bayern sent their top scouts to Turin for Benfica's Europa League showdown with Sevilla and watched Garay help the Portuguese giants keep a clean sheet across two hours of action, although thanks to late penalty heartache it was not a performance rewarded with silverware.
Pep Guardiola is on the lookout for defensive additions this summer but appears to have joined the lengthy list of clubs interested in Garay too late, after the former Real Madrid man reportedly agreed personal terms with Zenit earlier today.
The oil-rich Russian giants look set to wrap up a massive transfer coup before Garay turns his attention to this summer's World Cup finals, a decision which is sure to have United fans scratching their heads as another long-term transfer target fails to end up at Old Trafford.