Barcelona have made an approach to Real Madrid over the potential sale of Manchester United target Angel di Maria, according to reports in Spain.
Catalan newspaper Sport say Barcelona's enquiry has been rejected out of hand by their great rivals, who were never likely to entertain the thought of helping to strengthen Luis Enrique's side before the start of their impending transfer ban.
However the paper say that Barcelona did indeed approach Real Madrid with a €60 million offer which shows just how serious they were about linking up Di Maria with his international colleagues Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano.
Despite Madrid rejecting Barcelona, it seems almost certain that Di Maria will leave the Bernabeu before the close of the transfer window, and he could well be on his way to the Premier League.
Manchester United have been heavily linked with the 26-year-old in recent weeks, and are said to be eyeing a big-money deal before the close of the transfer window. Paris Saint-Germain were previously in the running for him, however sanctions imposed by UEFA in order to curtail their spending appear to have stopped them in their tracks.
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti revealed yesterday that Di Maria has handed in a transfer request in order to secure his exit from the Spanish giants, and as things stand it seems as though Old Trafford is his most likely destination - indeed some bookmakers suspended betting on him making the move to Manchester United last night.
New boss Louis van Gaal has had a difficult summer window and has missed out on a host of top targets including Arturo Vidal and Mats Hummels. Ander Herrera, Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo have all signed on the dotted line for a combined fee of around £72 million, but as yet the Dutch boss hasn't landed the marquee signing he wants.
Di Maria could well be that man, although with Real Madrid holding out for a fee in the region of €60 million, negotiations could go right down to the wire. With less than 10 days of the transfer window remaining Manchester United are also expected to pursue a deal for Daley Blind, while they have also been linked with Di Maria's Madrid team-mate Sami Khedira.