Manchester United have turned down a bid of €30 million (£27.6 million) plus James Rodriguez for wantaway central midfielder Paul Pogba.
The proposal – dismissed out of hand the previous week – is thought to have confirmed the club’s long-held suspicions that Real Madrid do not have the funds to finance a serious swoop for Pogba after a summer in which La Liga giants have already committed more than £270 million in transfer fees.
Real have been attempting to offload Rodriguez all summer and have put a price of around €50 million (£46m) on the Colombia playmaker.
That figure, combined with their small cash offer for Paul, was still less than half the Red Devils’ £160m valuation of the Frenchman.
The club are now reported to have turned their all attentions to Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insisted after his side’s 2-2 draw versus AC Milan in Cardiff the previous week that he had “no doubts” Paul would remain with the club next campaign.
Telegraph Sport reported last month – just four days after Paul had publicly declared his wish to seek a fresh challenge at another club – that the star feared he would be priced out of a summer move this summer.
Real Madrid had already financed a massive signing spree by that point, with the captures of Eder Militao, Luka Jovic, Rodrygo Ferland Mendy and Eder Militao, and Juventus – Paul’s other main suitor – were reluctant and unable to offer much more than the £89 million fee they received for the Frenchman from Manchester United in 2016.