Manchester United have been dealt a major blow in their pursuit of Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez.
According to Cm, Spanish giants Real Madrid are poised to submit a €70m bid for the Argentina international.
Recently, Fernandez has emerged as a legitimate target for United, with many seeing him as the perfect alternative for the elusive Frenkie de Jong.
A recent report indicated that any interested party will have to pay his astronomical €120m release clause.
This would effectively render the midfielder the most expensive Argentinian player ahead of Gonzalo Higuain who joined Juventus from Napoli in a €90m deal.
Beyond United and Real Madrid, Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool are also said to be big admirers of the 21-year-old.
The outlet have exclusively relayed that the La Liga champions are not willing to trigger Fernandez’s release clause as they do not want to pay that much.
Los Merengues are only prepared to cough up €70m, a similar figure to what the Red Devils had paid Madrid for Casemiro in the summer.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side is so hellbent on beating United to Fernandez’s signing that they could send Reinier Jesus Carvalho, an attacking midfielder to Benfica along with the money.
Reinier Jesus, a Brazilian international, is currently on loan at Girona from Madrid.
Madrid’s interest in Fernandez stems from the uncertainty surrounding Jude Bellingham. Bellingham, who could be on the move this summer, is the subject of interest from many clubs, including United and Madrid.
Should Madrid fail in their Bellingham pursuit, then they would focus all their efforts on Fernandez.