Manchester United's January transfer window plans have taken a blow after it emerged that Valencia are in advanced talks with one of their main targets for a winter spending spree, Enzo Perez.
According to the Daily Express, the Spanish club's billionaire owner has already been in contact with Benfica with regards to a possible move for the Argentina international once the transfer window opens on January 1.
The report claims this is a blow to Manchester United as the Old Trafford club have been beaten to the initiative with Valencia's negotiations and Perez was one of the three names on the list of primary midfield targets, along with Kevin Strootman and Arturo Vidal.
Lim, a Singaporean businessman, was reportedly in Portugal at the weekend for the discussions and is hoping to secure a quick deal for the 28-year-old, who is able to play in a wide role or as a central attacking midfielder.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal currently has ahi abundance of midfielders in his squad and making any purchase in that area, whether it be Enzo Perez or someone else, would likely mean the sale of one or more.
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The likes of Anderson and Darren Fletcher are getting very little playing time, while Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia look unlikely to trouble Van Gaal's starting XI if all defenders are fit and they are not required to fill in at full-back.
Were Perez to snub Valencia and make a move to Old Trafford, he would also have his work cut out to force his way into the starting line-up at the moment, as United have won their last five matches in a row in the Premier League.
A Robin van Persie brace on Monday night took the Red Devils to a crucial 2-1 win over top four rivals Southampton and meant they went third in the table, only five points behind local rivals Manchester City and eight behind leaders Chelsea.
It was not a vintage performance - club legend Gary Neville likened them to a pub team - but win is a win and their current position is very positive, considering the very poor start they made to the season where many questioned their ability to qualify for the Champions League.
No Financial Contest
Previous reports have claimed that Perez would cost in the region of £23.5million, and Manchester United's moneymen have proved they are ready to splash thew cash necessary to land a player they want.
Lim's billions may be helping Valencia to survive a toxic financial situation in La Liga, but 'Los Che' are still no match for United in the transfer market.