Manchester United want to sign Vinicius Junior from Real Madrid as a replacement for the outgoing Cristiano Ronaldo.
That is according to Spanish outlet El Nacional, who claim that the Red Devils will look to make a marquee signing in response to the departure of their number seven.
In Vinicius, it is reported that United have found “the ideal candidate” and are prepared to wait until June to get their man.
Given that the Brazilian already succeeded as heir to Ronaldo at Real Madrid after the Portugal star left for Juventus, it stands to reason that he would have no trouble handling the pressure of doing the same at Old Trafford.
And with his contract expiring in 2024, he may not be quite as unattainable as one would assume.
According to El Nacional, Erik ten Hag has “personally contacted” Vinicius, even going so far as to pressure him to turn down Real Madrid’s offer of an extension to his deal in Spain.
He has assured the winger that the exalted number seven shirt will be his should he make the switch, while the club are prepared to go well above any offer put forward by Madrid.
An incredible talent among the best players in the world, Vinicius would certainly excite Man United fans.
His pace a trickery harken back to a Cristiano Ronaldo that match-goers actually enjoyed watching, and he would undoubtedly relish taking on the mega-star mantle at Old Trafford.
However, it is difficult to imagine Real Madrid do anything other than pulling out all the stop to keep their star winger and United have been used as a bargaining tool in contract standoffs such as this before.
Of course, United did manage to sign Raphael Varane and Vinicius’ compatriot Casemiro in recent times and may well fancy their chances at prising Madrid’s jewel from the Santiago Bernabeu.
But it would be a monumental effort requiring a huge financial commitment, at a time when United are well aware that their squad still have gaps that need to be filled.
Vinicius’ position on the left wing is perhaps one of the few positions that is overstaffed.
Valued at €120m according to Transfermarkt, it is hard to see the current ownership sanctioning such a move and still giving Ten Hag the necessary funds to recruit a striker, a right back, a midfielder, and potentially a goalkeeper to boot.