Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has instructed Red Devils chief-executive Ed Woodward to fund a last-ditch £24m bid for William Carvalho by selling a host of first-team stars including Javier Hernandez, Anderson and Shinji Kagawa.
Carvalho has been a Man United target for the more than 12 months thanks to the interest of previous Red Devils boss David Moyes, but despite initially focusing on other targets Van Gaal is now desperate to sign a holding midfielder before the transfer window slams shut and has urged United to close a deal for the Portuguese enforcer at all costs.
The Telegraph believe that United have changed their stance on Carvalho because Sporting are willing to accept far less than the €37m release clause the Red Devils were quoted at the start of this summer, which means United and Arsenal will battle it out to sign one of Europe's most promising young midfield maestros.
Desperate late trolly dash
United's summer spending is already at a club-record £140m thanks to the Angel di Maria deal, but Van Gaal is still adamant his new-look side need reinforcements that will help shore up defensive deficiencies in the fight to earn Champions League qualification.
Carvalho would certainly bring much-needed presence and power to a central area, but surely United can only fund a move for one player in that position and have also been extensively linked with Arturo Vidal and Daley Blind.
Regardless of who comes in before Monday night's transfer deadline there's a desperate need to offload under-performing players on high wages, an issue Van Gaal wants addressed as a matter of urgency.
Who could United realistically sell?
Midfield misfit Anderson is at the top of United's exit list, when Wilfried Zaha's imminent move to Crystal Palace is taken out of the equation.
Anderson got a chance to impress Van Gaal in the Capital One Cup against the MK Dons on Tuesday night, but like so many of his team-mates floundered in a humiliating 4-0 defeat to the League One outfit.
Van Gaal wants the Brazilian international gone and is also willing to listen to offers for Kagawa and Hernandez, with no shortage of suitors on the continent for both.
Danny Welbeck is also a top transfer target for a whole host of Premier League sides, which means it promises to be an extremely busy few days at United's Carrington training ground, with both incomings and outgoings an absolute necessity for a club under fire.