Manchester United have stepped up their interest in Angel Di Maria, with executive vice chairman Ed Woodward flying to Cardiff to hold talks with Real Madrid over a possible transfer during this summer transfer window.
Di Maria has already been priced out of a move to French champions Paris Saint-Germain, and United are likely to have to shell out a considerable amount of money to land the Argentine, with Real Madrid reportedly asking for a fee of about £50 million.
Louis Van Gaal recently expressed his admiration for Di Maria, saying United do not have wingers of the quality of the 26-year-old which has in a manner forced him to go with the currently used 3-5-2 formation.
Di Maria has been widely tipped to leave Real Madrid this summer, and that possibility only looked more likely when he failed to get off the bench for his team's UEFA Super Cup win over Sevilla; whether the lack of game time was due to a small injury or more transfer related remains to be seen.
After Van Gaal has officially taken over at United following his spell with the Dutch national team, the manager has not bought anybody in, with Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw signed as part of plans made even before the 63-year-old was appointed.
Bringing in a player of Di Maria's calibre will certainly set the pulses racing at Old Trafford, which saw Van Gaal make his home debut on Tuesday in a friendly win over Valencia.
United are also reportedly closing in on deals for Sporting Lisbon left-back Marcos Rojo and the versatile Ajax defender Daley Blind, but the jewel in the crown will certainly be Di Maria.
Much will depend on how talks went between Woodward and Real Madrid, which apparently took place after the UEFA Super Cup, according to the Daily Mail. If United can persuade the Spanish giants to reduce their transfer fee demands, it will certainly be a coup.
Even for that £50 million fee, though, Di Maria is someone who could reinvigorate United in this season's Premier League (not that it looks like too much reinvigoration is needed, considering the preseason results under Van Gaal), as the Red Devils look to mount a sustained challenge for the title after their disappointing campaign last year when they only managed a seventh-place finish under David Moyes.