Real Madrid's Uruguayan midfielder Federico Valverde has reportedly become a target for Manchester United.
Valverde joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2016, aged 18, from Uruguayan giants Peñarol. After spending a season with the Madrid's B team, Valverde gained his first experience of the Spanish top flight in 2017/18 on loan at Deportivo La Coruña.
Since relegation that year, the 22-year-old midfielder has gradually worked his way up Madrid's pecking order over the past two seasons. With the likes of multiple Champions League winners Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric regulars under Zinedine Zidane, competition for places is fierce, although Valverde did enjoy a breakthrough campaign last term as he made 44 appearances across all competitions.
Manchester United are one of a number of European sides who have been impressed by the tireless midfielder's form of late, and are said to be monitoring his progress, according to The Sun. United are supposedly long-term admirers of Valverde, though Madrid clearly value their number 15 highly.
In the recent summer transfer window, Bayern Munich reportedly made an unsuccessful attempt to lure Valverde to the Allianz Arena as a replacement for Liverpool-bound Thiago Alcântara. Neither Madrid nor Valverde were thought to be keen on a move.
Madrid's faith in their young, dynamic South American is evidenced by the eye-watering £640m buyout clause included in the new five-year deal Valverde penned with the Spanish behemoths in November 2019.
The Sun suggest that Manchester United may be able to sway Madrid with the offer of Paul Pogba as part of an unlikely swap deal. The French World Cup winner has recently described playing at Madrid as a 'dream' - and, incidentally, has also been linked with a move to their Clasico rivals Barcelona.
However, if Valverde couldn't be tempted with an offer from the reigning German and European champions, Manchester United - a side that finished 33 points off the Premier League winners last season - will face a stern test to turn the young man's head.