Real Madrid are ready to offer £24million for David De Gea, despite knowing that is far below the price the Manchester United are looking for - they want it to unsettle Premier League club's number one.
According to the Daily Express, Carlo Ancelotti has decided he needs a new man to take up the mantle of first choice between the sticks at Santiago Bernabeu, after finally losing patience with club legend Iker Casillas.
De Gea is the man at the top of his list of replacements, but Real Madrid know that Manchester United would much rather not sell a player who has arguably been the Red Devils' most consistent player over the past year to so.
For this reason, the report claims that Ancelotti has officials from los Blancos staying on top of Petr Cech's situation at Chelsea, where he has been ousted from the starting XI by Thibaut Courtois and is not best pleased.
However, they are plotting a bid for De Gea, says the report, and will knowingly submit a bid a long way under the asking price. £24million isn't even close to being enough to land the 23-year-old, but Ancelotti hopes it could prove another function.
With Manchester United reportedly ready to offer a new contract to a player they signed from Atletico Madrid for £18million in 2011, Real Madrid hope an official bid might act to unsettle the player. An unsettled player during contract negotiations is not ideal.
New No1 is required
The former Chelsea manager's need for a new goalkeeper is plain for all to see. Casillas has struggled to hit his top form for a number of years and the past couple of seasons have seen him become error-prone.
More than a few people are of the opinion that Casillas is past it and that De Gea is ready to take up his place as number one for Spain, with the transition expected to happen soon, and De Gea has improved a great deal over the past season.
Come so far
He was heavily criticised after first joining the club in 2011 and he looked extremely vulnerable when put under physical pressure from opponents. United worked with him to increase his bulk and he slowly gained confidence in dealing with the challenges of the Premier League.
Last season was generally a miserable one for the club, but the dark times of David Moyes' reign were brightened somewhat by De Gea's form. Few Manchester United players delivered the consistency he did and their seventh-place finish may well have been worse had he not been in such good form.