Manchester United's search for a play-making midfielder looks to have taken some potentially decisive twists, according to speculation in the last 24 hours.
The Daily Mirror reports that United's number-one target Luka Modric has agreed personal terms with Real Madrid. The move could still be some way from completion, however.
Firstly, the Mirror quotes the often dubious unnamed source close to player. There is also the fact that no fee has yet been agreed between the clubs, which has been the stumbling block to any deal all along. Real's initial approach broke down over midfielder Nuri Sahin's refusal to move the other way in part exchange. Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is known to drive a particularly hard bargain and will not settle for anything less than he believes his prized asset is worth.
There would still potentially be an opening there for United, with the belief that Modric would have a better opportunity for first-team action at Old Trafford.
United, though, appear to have already turned their attentions elsewhere. The Times' Rory Smith has reported that United have tabled a £20 million bid for Porto's Joao Moutinho. In a credible story, it is claimed that Porto will be seeking around £26 million for the 25 year old.
Moutinho has proven himself as one of Europe's finest midfielders in the past two years at Porto following a controversial move from Sporting Lisbon. A lynchpin of the side, Moutinho has helped Porto to back-to-back league titles as well the Europa League in 2011. At Euro 2012, Moutinho was a key factor in Portugal's run to the semifinals.
Tottenham, under former-Porto boss Andre Villas-Boas, are also thought to be interested in Moutinho as a replacement for Modric, while Real Madrid could also still make a move.
United have also been heavily linked with another of Porto's key performers in James Rodriguez. Various reports have claimed that Ferguson is eager to sign the 20-year-old winger, with a fee of over £20 million mooted.
The Colombian continues to show little inclination toward a move, however.
I want to stay with FC Porto, he said, according to Sky Sports.
I am happy and very pleased to be able to continue with the club.
When the news came out about Manchester United, I knew nothing of it.
I am looking ahead to next season and have a lot of expectations. I want to win more titles here.
I will also have more duties and responsibilities next season.
United are also thought to be looking to bolster their attack this summer. Michael Owen has already departed, while Dimitar Berbatov looks set to follow suit, creating a potential vacancy up front.
Newcastle's Demba Ba has been strongly linked to a move after it was revealed that the Senegal international has a clause in his contract allowing him to leave for just £7 million before the end of July. As he returned to pre-season training with the Magpies, Ba took to Twitter to attempt to dampen the speculation over his future.
So much stuff about me lately he wrote. Rumours are rumours! Just forget about it. By the way I had the best holiday ever!!