Manchester City have entered the race for Barcelona star Alexis Sanchez and are ready to lodge a £24m offer which they are confident will trump Premier League rivals Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool plus Serie A giants Juventus to a blockbuster summer signing.
Sanchez is without question one of the most talented wingers at this summer's World Cup finals, but a unique mix of pace, technique and clinical decision-making in the final third has not proved enough for him to convince new Barca boss Luis Enrique he deserves a guaranteed starting spot at the Camp Nou next season.
Barca are willing to negotiate the Chilean star's sale and have set a minimum price tag of £20m before allowing any of the top clubs around the continent to talk terms over a deal with his representatives, but the Daily Star believe City are so desperate to win this particular transfer fight that they'll pay what it takes to bring Sanchez to the Etihad.
In recent days one of the summer's longest-running transfer sagas has taken a few surprising twists, most notably with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger taking the opportunity to meet Sanchez in person while working as a World Cup pundit for French television last week.
Arsenal are definitely looking for top-quality forwards to beef up their squad and Sanchez certainly fits the bill in that regard, scoring 19 goals and setting up a further 12 for Barca in La Liga last season.
Premier League trio ready to tussle
Liverpool and Manchester United are also monitoring the situation closely, both desperate to bridge very different-sized gaps on champions City, but its Reds boss Brendan Rodgers that has actively pursued the deal more aggressively ever since the campaign concluded.
Sanchez is fully focused on the World Cup and has carried strong form into the tournament to help Chile book a last-16 clash with familiar foes Brazil, but that hasn't stopped his agents openly courting life away from Barca as their client bids for star billing rather than a peripheral role elsewhere.
Serie A throws a spanner in the works
Sanchez reportedly has his heart set on a Premier League move but currently has one very attractive alternative proposal on the table, from Serie A champions Juventus.
Antonio Conte is targeting quality additions to turn his supreme Scudetto stars into genuine Champions League contenders, with Sanchez certainly ticking those boxes and seemingly ready to hit his prime at the age of 25.
Juve are prepared to meet his wage demands and Barca's valuation, but have been left trailing by the Chilean's desire to further his ambitions in the Premier League rather than Serie A.
Deal or no deal?
While Juve sweat over persuading Sanchez he should snub Premier League advances City are working on the understanding that he's ready for a fresh challenge on top wages in England.
City boss Manuel Pellegrini is restricted to a net transfer spend of £49m this summer but that has not dampened his desire to add another dynamic attacker with electric pace to his star-studded squad, turning what looks set be one of the summer's longest running transfer sagas into a four-horse race.