Manchester United have been given the green light to complete a stunning £27 million deal for Real Madrid left-back Fabi Coentrao, reports The Express.
The Portugal international has been linked with a move to the Red Devils since the summer of 2013 when a proposed transfer to Old Trafford broke down at the 11th hour.
Despite the fact that Manchester United have swapped managers since then, interest in Coentrao remains high. Louis van Gaal is looking for stronger competition for Luke Shaw and it appears the Real Madrid man fits the bill.
Real Madrid ready to sell
Real Madrid are looking to part ways with Coentrao as they step up their bid to sign Bayern Munich star David Alaba. The Austrian is widely regarded as one of the best full-backs in world football and Carlo Ancelotti wants him as part of a plan to turn Real Madrid into a free flowing football team.
Alaba was supposed to be out for a significant amount of time after suffering ligament damage at the start of November. But the 22-year-old has confirmed that he will be fit to return to action in January, revamping the chance of Real Madrid making a bumper transfer offer.
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Alaba said, as quoted in the same report: "I hope to be at the coach's disposal by January. The knee is fine and I feel good about myself.
"I hope to return as soon as possible."
Should Los Blancos manage to complete the deal, Coentrao will be free to leave the Bernabeu and finally seal that dream switch the Manchester United. However, Florentino Perez will be looking to recoup every penny they paid for him in 2011.
The £27 million price tag should not be too much of an issue for Van Gaal, who spent £150 million in the summer bringing in the likes of Angel di Maria, Radamel Falcao and Shaw.
Coentrao will help reinforce a defensive line that has been decimated by injury so far this season. Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Jonny Evans and Rafael are all in the treatment room with only Evans expected back before the end of the month.