Manchester United have launched an audacious attempt to hijack Real Madrid's move for Porto right-back Danilo, reports The Mail.
Louis van Gaal is in the market for a new right-back this summer after reportedly deciding to part ways with Rafael. Danilo has made significant process in the Primeira Liga this season and has attracted interest from Old Trafford as a result.
However, Real Madrid appear to have beaten the Red Devils to the punch with the same report claiming the 23-year-old has already agreed to move to the Bernabeu this summer. Regardless, Manchester United have made contact with Porto over a potential move.
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Summer spending spree
They appear to be too late but Van Gaal is very interested in Danilo and wants confirmation that they have no chance of signing him before moving on to alternative targets. Real Madrid are thought to be ready to pay a fee of £27 million to seal the deal.
Manchester United are determined to get their summer spending spree underway as soon as possible with as much as £150 million believed to be available to Van Gaal. A new centre-back, a midfielder and a striker are also on the wanted list.
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Should Danilo reject the late approach from Manchester United then Van Gaal can start preparing a move for his second and third-choice targets. Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne is on the radar, but could cost up to £20 million to prize from St. Mary's.
Dani Alves is also a potential target and is available on a free transfer from Barcelona this summer. Manchester United could sign him to a pre-contract now but the player's agent has already hinted that the Brazilian is close to deal with an unnamed club.
Time to move on
Manchester United will not be able to compete with Real Madrid when it comes to transfers. They are the one club in the world that have more expendable cash than they do and a lot more pulling power to boot.
Not only can Real Madrid virtually guarantee Champions League football next year, but they also have the ability to mount a challenge to win it. Meanwhile Manchester United are in the middle of a rebuilding project with major trophies seemingly years away.
Van Gaal has done the right thing by trying to get this one out of the way early, but has been beaten to the punch. It should not hamper their summer recruitment plans, but moving on as soon as possible will help to minimize the damage of missing out on a top target.
Who should Manchester United sign if Danilo rejects a move: Clyne or Alves? Give us your thoughts in the comment box below!