Manchester United's hopes of landing Angel Di Maria have suffered a massive blow after it emerged that Paris Saint Germain are preparing a much larger rival offer.
The Daily Star quotes reports from Spain and Italy that claim PSG will offer Real Madrid £47.5m for the Argentine international, significantly more than the £38m United are willing to offer.
United's hopes dashed
New United boss Louis Van Gaal had hoped Di Maria, who was not fit to face his Dutch side in the World Cup semi-final on Wednesday night, would be his first big-name addition as Old Trafford manager.
Di Maria admitted last month that negotiations between himself and Real Madrid were ongoing, and he's believed to want assurances over his first-team future with James Rodriguez expected to arrive from Monaco.
Those assurances have not been forthcoming so far, and speculation has gathered momentum surrounding his possible departure.
Reports have claimed United have told Real Madrid that they're willing to pay £38m for the Argentina international, practically the same amount they paid Chelsea for Juan Mata in the January transfer window.
But they might not want to compete head-to-head with PSG, who so far have shown no signs of restraint in the transfer market despite their Financial Fair Play punishments.
Having shelled out close to £50m for David Luiz, the big-spending French outfit clearly will pay whatever it takes for their top targets. And that could be bad news for United, who are unlikely to want to get into a bidding war with a club that boasts such deep pockets.
With PSG in for 26-year-old Di Maria, Van Gaal could turn his attention elsewhere, with centre-back and centre-midfield still areas in urgent need of reinforcements.
Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal is one of the Dutchman's priorities, and Italian reports claim a £50m bid could be forthcoming if United lose out in the race for Di Maria.
The Argentine should be fit for the World Cup final to face Germany this Sunday.