Manchester United know they face a battle to land Roma defender Mehdi Benatia even though he demanded the Serie A club double his wages.
United's appointment of Louis van Gaal has prompted the club to set about their transfer business with the Red Devils already thwarted in their attempts to get Benatia's teammate Kevin Strootman after Roma turned down a £32m offer for the player.
United now fear they could be on the receiving end of another snub in their pursuit of Benatia.
The 27-year-old has enjoyed an excellent season with the Italians where he has been the bedrock of a mean Roma defence - the best in Italy - while also chipping in with an impressive five goals.
The Moroccan only revealed in the last few days that he is content in the Italian capital and would only leave the club if it helped them financially.
But despite the claim, Bentatia then insisted the club pay him £2.5m a season to stay, according to Gazetta dello Sport.
United will hope Roma struggle to meet his wage demands, leaving the coast clear for them to pounce for the in-demand star.
Liverpool and Barcelona are also keen on landing the player as they look to patch up their defensive problems.
Benatia only joined Roma last summer for £12m from Udinese which included two players going the other way in exchange.
© [football] direct news 2014