Jose Mourinho has placed a combined £45million price tag on the heads of Marouane Fellaini and Adnan Januzaj after David Moyes expressed interest in signing them for Sunderland.
According to the Sunday Mirror, firm in the knowledge that Mourinho does not rate either of them, the former Old Trafford boss was hoping to grab a bargain.
However, Mourinho is in no mood to do his Premier League rival a favour and is expecting to get full value for the Belgian duo. Individually, Fellaini is valued at £20m and Januzaj £25m.
That will prove too rich for the Black Cats' blood after they blew £20m in the January transfer window in a desperate attempt to avoid relegation.
Sam Allardyce helped them do just that, earning the chance to manage England as a result, but he left the coffers pretty much empty for his successor.
It is no coincidence that Moyes has been linked with these two players. They were probably the only two in the Old Trafford dressing room who were disappointed when the Scotsman was sacked in March 2014.
Fellaini and Moyes share a close relationship after spending time together at both United and Everton while Januzaj experienced the best spell of his short career under his tutelage. But it seems Moyes may have to make a decision as to which one he wants.
A loan deal for Januzaj would make a move for both viable and Mourinho is more than happy to let the winger go on a temporary basis. Indeed, even if he was to leave permanently, United are likely to insist on a buy-back clause in case he reaches his huge potential.
Fellaini may be more difficult to coax as Mourinho is happy to keep him in the squad. A towering figure in midfield, Fellaini has a unique set of attributes that are hard to find in today's market. While he won't be a first-team regular, he could be used as a plan B.