Real Madrid are gearing up for another summer spending spree and have earmarked Manchester United colossus Nemanja Vidic as their number one target.
Madrid are prepared to make an initial approach of £20 million for the Serbian centre back but it is believed that United will hold out for almost double that if they are to let one of their most prized assets jump ship.
Vidic is contracted until 2012 but his future has been subject to speculation over the past year when it was reported that his wife, Ana, has failed to settle in Manchester and would prefer a move to another country.
Madrid are likely to face stiff competition from Barcelona and AC Milan to get their man but the cash rich Spanish giants would be expected to see off any rival to get their man.
Last year Madrid spent an astonishing £220 million in the transfer market, including the capture of United star Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool’s Xabi Alonso.
This year though, it is the leaking backline that will be strengthened and a player exchange deal with France forward Karim Benzema, who has far from lit-up La Liga since his move to Real in the summer, could kick-start a deal.
There are not believed to be any plans in the short-term to offer Vidic a new contract yet at Old Trafford but a long-term plan is expected to be put in place soon as Sir Alex Ferguson will not allow the Serbian’s contract to run down and the player lose value.
Should Vidic head for Spain, Ferguson will attempt to bolster his defence with Danish defender Simon Kjaer, Porto’s Bruno Alves and Bolton’s Gary Cahill all potential targets.