Manchester United's plans to sign PSV Eindhoven winger Memphis Depay this summer are at risk of being derailed by Premier League rivals Liverpool, who are emerging as serious contenders for the highly-rated Holland international's signature.
According to Dutch football expert Marcel van der Kraan, Anfield scouts have been monitoring the 21-year-old's progress "almost every week" with club representatives in attendance for the majority of Phillip Cocu's side's Eredivisie matches.
Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal has been heavily linked with a move for Depay, but his hopes of luring the Netherlands star to Old Trafford have been hampered by Brendan Rodgers's increasing amount of interest.
“People think Louis van Gaal will take him, but the fact that Liverpool scouts are in Eindhoven almost every week to watch the player signals to me that Liverpool are a strong contender for the boy," confirmed Van der Kraan in an interview with talkSPORT's Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show.
The news will come as a bitter blow to Manchester United supporters that were previously confident the relationship their manager already has with the attacking talent makes them well placed to acquire Depay's services.
But, given the amount of time and effort that Liverpool chiefs have spent on keeping tabs on the £20 million-rated wide-man means that a transfer tussle is likely to ensue as soon as the window reopens this summer.
Depay starred in Van Gaal's Holland side at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil last summer, but didn't follow his former national team coach to England after deciding to remain in his homeland for the 2014/15 campaign.
This term the fleet-footed forward has taken his game to the next level and will surely be on his way out of the Philips Stadion upon the completion of the current campaign.
It remains to be seen which destination Depay will pick for his next club, but don't be surprised to see him plying his trade in England's top-flight next season.
Depay played a starring role in last night's international friendly with Spain which ended with Guus Hiddink's side winning the match 2-0 thanks to goals from Stefan de Vrij and Davy Klaassen putting La Roja to the sword.
His display won't have gone unnoticed by either Manchester United or Liverpool, or any other potential suitor on the lookout for an exciting flair player in the summer.
Manchester United fans: What are Louis van Gaal's chances of convincing Memphis Depay to snub Liverpool and sign on at Old Trafford? Share your thoughts below...