Manchester City have jumped ahead of rivals United in the race to sign Kalidou Koulibaly, according to reports.
The Napoli defender, 27, is open to a move this summer as he looks for a new challenge.
And La Gazzetta dello Sport is claiming the Citizens have launched an £85million raid for the 32-cap Senegal international.
With Vincent Kompany leaving the club after securing back-to-back titles, Pep Guardiola needs another top-class defender.
And the reported Koulibaly bid would smash the current record for a defender held by Liverpool’s £75m Ballon d’Or contender Virgil van Dijk.
The Dutchman’s signing played a key role in the Reds’ Champions League triumph.
And the importance of a reliable centre-half is not lost on United or City, who are both tracking £80m-rated Leicester defender Harry Maguire.
Liverpool have also been linked with a move for Koulibaly, although the Reds have not made the position as high a priority as the Manchester clubs.
Anfield chief Jurgen Klopp has World Cup finalist Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and rising star Joe Gomez as options to partner Van Dijk.
United are also in the hunt for Crystal Palace star Aaron Wan-Bissaka and West Ham ace Issa Diop.