Florentino Perez has given Manchester United fans hope that Angel Di Maria could join the Old Trafford club - but they may be in for a tortuous wait.
The Real Madrid president has admitted first-team players may be sold, but in an echo of Mesut Ozil's move to Arsenal last summer, the Spanish giants may delay sanctioning a deal until the last possible moment.
Surplus to requirements
The Daily Star reports that United have been heavily linked with Di Maria, who may now be surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu following the acquisition of James Rodriguez from Monaco for £63m.
Real Madrid want £40m for the Argentina international, with new United boss Louis Van Gaal believed to be an admirer of the versatile attacker.
And Perez, who sold Ozil to Arsenal in the last few hours of the summer transfer window in 2013, has revealed that Real Madrid could leave it late again.
Always a chance
"There's always a chance of something happening up to the last day, in terms of both signings and sales," Perez said. "What's important is for the season to go smoothly and for us to remain calm.
"We will start out full of hope and enthusiasm, as we and the other clubs always do. We all want to get stronger and there is room for improvement. We have to be in a position to challenge when the action gets underway."
Di Maria is reportedly sold on the idea of the Premier League, although he may have the option to go to Paris Saint Germain as the Ligue 1 champions are also interested.
The 26-year-old attacker enjoyed his best season as a Real Madrid player last term, scoring four goals and providing a whopping 17 assists in 34 La Liga appearances. He also was a key player as the club won their 10th Champions League trophy.
Man United in the United States
Manchester United meanwhile, got a first look at some of their new signings this week. Ander Herrera in particular stood out in United's 7-0 thrashing of LA Galaxy while Luke Shaw also looked solid in a new left-wing back role.
Van Gaal opted to go with a 5-3-2 formation that utilised Shaw and Antonio Valencia on the flanks, a flexible set-up that allowed the Dutchman to play Robin Van Persie, Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney in their preferred positions.
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