Manchester United and Arsenal have now been told what they must pay to sign Joao Felix from Atletico Madrid in January.
Felix is free to leave the La Liga side three-and-a-half years on from his £115m move from Benfica having fallen out of favour under Diego Simeone.
A report on Saturday claimed Arsenal are ‘close’ to agreeing a deal for Felix having ‘established a direct channel’ with player and club, but Mirror claim United are ‘frontrunners’.
Agent Jorge Mendes reportedly met with Atletico Madrid CEO Miguel Angel Gil on Thursday to present United’s opening offer of a straight £3m loan and a commitment to cover his wages.
But the Spanish club laughed off the bid and instead want not just a £9.5m loan fee, but also a commitment to buy the forward for £70.5m at the end of the season.
The difference in valuations may have put off United, who are thought to be close to completing a deal for Wout Weghorst as short-term cover up front.
Mendes is set for further meetings with the Spanish club in the hope of reaching an agreement.
Former United star Patrice Evra believes the Red Devils should end their pursuit of Felix, who he believes is not the sort of player Erik ten Hag should be targeting in the winter window.
“I love Joao Felix and I loved what a great World Cup he had. I’m quite surprised that things haven’t worked out with Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid, but he’s a fantastic player,” Evra said.
“He’s an excellent player and if he’s not happy at Atletico, the Premier League will welcome him with open arms. We need to replace the 20 goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, so it’s logical that we need another attacker.
“We can play Martial, Garnacho and Rashford but we need a killer, someone who lives for goals. I don’t care if they perform well, I just want them to score goals. That’s why I don’t think Joao Felix is the right type of player for United right now.
“I don’t want United to look beautiful. With players like Felix people will say how beautiful we look with the way we play, I don’t care about that. Right now they need to bring someone in who is coming just to score goals.”