Barcelona are hatching a plan that could be bad news indeed for Manchester United, with the Catalan club reported to hoping they are able to trade Alexis Sanchez for either Paul Pogba or Arturo Vidal during the summer transfer window.
Pogba and Vidal have established themselves as two of the most coveted player in Europe during their time together at Juventus, with the midfield duo having played a significant part in the club achieving three successive Serie A titles.
Among those clubs to be linked with Pogba and Vidal have been Barcelona and Manchester United while, naturally, Real Madrid also harbour a supposed interest. Barcelona, though, will hope they are in the strongest potential bargaining position.
As reported by TuttoSport, Juventus are keen on the acquisition of Barcelona forward Sanchez, and the Camp Nou hierarchy are seemingly prepared to use the Chilean as bait in order to lure either Pogba or Vidal to Catalonia.
This news will arrive as something of a blow for Manchester United, who have been credited with interest in all three of these players, although the prospect of signing Sanchez remains far more likely than the possible acquisition of either of the prized Juventus assets.
Sanchez, it would appear, is available for transfer, and Manchester United are reported to be preparing a proposal, with a figure of £20 million supposedly enough for Barcelona to sanction his sale. He would certainly be an upgrade to the wide options Louis van Gaal will inherit when he arrives at the club.
Manchester United, though, have been informed that Pogba would be open to a return to Old Trafford, although it would take a bid in the region of £60 million for Juventus to even entertain the prospect. It may be, then, that Manchester United may consider a player exchange proposal of their own.
Juventus have been linked extensively with Luis Nani in the past, and the inclusion of the Portuguese in an offer for Pogba may turn the heads of the Turin executives. Or perhaps Javier Hernandez would prove more tempting. The Mexican is likely to leave Manchester United, and has been mentioned as a target for Juve.
The chances of signing Pogba remain remote, of course, but Manchester United will need to get inventive if Barcelona do formalise their interest in the France international.