Manchester United will sit idly by while Real Madrid complete a deal for Porto right-back Danilo, according to a report in The Mail.
The 23-year-old has been linked with a move to Old Trafford in recent weeks with Louis van Gaal actively looking to replace Rafael. The Brazilian's time as a Manchester United player is coming to an end; he is expected to leave this summer with a return to his native country mooted.
However, despite reportedly scouting Danilo extensively, Manchester United have no significant interest in him, effectively giving Real Madrid a clear run to complete a deal. It is claimed in the same report that Carlo Ancelotti's men are in advanced talks already.
Danilo's representatives have met with Bernabeu officials to discuss personal terms while more talks with Porto are required before a deal can be sealed. The transfer fee could reach as much as £27 million.
That is a heavy price to pay for a man with just 16 months remaining on his contract. Danilo is likely to reject an extension by Porto, leaving them with little option but to sell this summer. However, Porto are renowned for getting the best value for their players.
It now looks like Van Gaal will concentrate his efforts on signing Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne while a free transfer deal for Barcelona's contract rebel Dani Alves is also on the cards. Clyne could cost the Red Devils as much as £20 million, but he too is out of contract in 2016.
The right-back position needs significant strengthening and it would be no surprise to see both Alves and Clyne arrive at Old Trafford this summer. Both would be capable of playing a wing-back role in a 3-5-2, which will be attractive to Van Gaal.
His decision not to rival Real Madrid for Danilo will surprise fans who have seen the Brazilian play. He runs riot for the Dragons, but Van Gaal has learnt from the errors made by local rivals Manchester City.
Manuel Pellegrini forked out £40 million to sign Eliaquim Mangala last summer, making him the most expensive defender in Premier League history. But Mangala has struggled with the quality of football in England and it is clear his ability was amplified by Portuguese football.
Manchester United have also had a dark history of buying players from Portugal with Nani, Anderson and Bebe all failing to make it in the Premier League. Only Cristiano Ronaldo seems to have made the switch successfully in recent years.
With so much on the line for Van Gaal, he cannot afford to take such expensive risks when a player with Premier League experience, Clyne, is on the market for less.
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