Manchester City are poised to enter the race to sign Sergio Ramos from Real Madrid, according to the Mirror.
The Spanish defender has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United, who has a second offer for his services worth around £42 million rejected over the weekend.
Ramos, who has two years left to run on his current contract the Bernabeu, is said to be seeking an exit and favours a move to Manchester United, however his current employers value him at £65 million. Further complicating the issue is Real Madrid's interest in David de Gea, who the Red Devils have slapped a £33 million price tag on - despite the fact that the goalkeeper is in the final year of his contract at Old Trafford.
According to the Mirror that hold up in proceedings may allow Manchester City to swoop ahead of their great rivals. Boss Manuel Pellegrini will be backed in the transfer market by the club's owners despite his failure to land any silverware last time round.
The paper adds that City are monitoring the situation and if Manchester United's move to sign Ramos is held up much longer they may lodge a bid themselves in order to snatch the 29-year-old from the clutches of Louis van Gaal.
Should that happen it would be a major blow for the Dutchman, who is said to be on the lookout for an experiences centre-back to compliment his existing options.
Borussia Dortmund captain Mats Hummels was said to be his previous number one target while Valencia's Nicolas Otamendi has also been suggested as a possible option - however Ramos has emerged as his priority over the last seven days.
The Spanish defender is currently embroiled in a bitter contract row with Madrid, and is said to be furious that he hasn't been offered new terms to stay put as yet - prompting his request to leave. The Spanish giants aren't opposed to his exit, but only if he can help them secure De Gea.
The Manchester United shotstopper has turned down the offer of a £200,000-per-week extension and wants a return to Spain, but Van Gaal is holding out for a world record offer - and is willing to let him walk away for nothing next year rather than sell him on the cheap.
Manchester City have also been busy trying to seal a deal for Liverpool's Raheem Sterling but have had a £40 million offer knocked back, while they have also sounded out Juventus over the possible sale of Paul Pogba.
Manchester City would be wise to bring in a top level defender this summer - Vincent Kompany had a poor campaign, Martin Demichelis isn't getting any younger and Equium Mangala is raw to say the least.
Whether or not they hold an interest in Ramos or not remains to be seen - it could well be a little story leaked by Madrid to put pressure on Manchester United to either up their bid or to produce an offer that includes De Gea - but Manchester City need a player like Ramos.