Manchester United's chances of signing Paul Pogba have increased significantly after Real Madrid made the huge decision to declare themselves out of the race.
According to Sky Sports, Real Madrid officials have told Juventus that they will not be able to match the financial package reportedly on offer from United.
Los Blancos had been expected to launch a bid in the region of £85m (€100m) but discussions with Pogba's agent Mino Raiola have led them to believe that any deal would cost in excess of £105m (€123m).
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250-word test article: https://gms.to/haveyoursay4
That is because Raiola is demanding an excessive fee for brokering the deal, while the French midfielder will need performance related bonuses inserted into any contract.
Real Madrid would also struggle to match the £300,000-a-week that Manchester United are offering. Because of differences in taxes, Los Blancos would only have to pay Pogba £250,000-a-week to match it but they remain reluctant to commit to a five-year deal that would cost them £65m.
Not only have Manchester United agreed to match every demand but they have also warned Real Madrid that they will go even further if their bid is matched.
Club president Florentino Perez has now accepted that they simply cannot compete with the financial might of the Premier League's richest club.
United have worked their way into Raiola's good books by brokering deals for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, both of whom are represented by the agent.
Executive Ed Woodward has struck up a strong relationship with the super agent, giving them exclusive access to Pogba for much of the current summer.
They have kept talks informal up to this point, not wanting it to distract from Pogba's duties with the France national team. But with Euro 2016 concluding on Sunday, you can expect talks to accelerate at some point over the coming week.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms