Barcelona are ready to end their interest in signing Porto right-back Danilo as the La Liga giants believe the Brazilian star is already in advanced negotiations to move instead to Manchester United or Real Madrid, according to reports in Spain.
The La Liga giants had earmarked the signing of a full-back to replace Dani Alves as their top target when their Fifa transfer bans expire in January 2016.
Nevertheless, Brazil international's future at the club has been under increasing scrutiny in recent months as his current contract at the Camp Nou is set to expire at the end of the season, while summer signing Douglas Costa and academy star Martin Montoya have struggled to convince manager Luis Enrique they deserve a regular place in his line-up.
Recent reports in Spain claimed the club had identified Porto star Danilo as the top priority for January 2016.
However, Catalan-based newspaper Sport claims after the club made initial contact to the players' advisers, they decided to end their interest in the 23-year-old star due to his price tag and because they think he is in advance negotiations to move elsewhere – believed to be either Old Trafford or the Santiago Bernabeu.
According to Sport, Porto are not likely to negotiate his departure for less than his £29m ($44.6m) release clause while, after conversations with Danilo's advisers, Barcelona understand United or Real Madrid have beaten them in the race to secure his services.
The Spanish newspaper even assures that, after Danilo's blow, the Catalans are considering rethinking their intentions over Alves by offering him a new deal to commit his future to the Camp Nou.
Alves's agent, Dinorah Santana, recently said she was looking for a new club for the Brazil international as Barcelona were yet to make any approach to renew his contract.
Then Sport claimed United manager Louis van Gaal had already made an approach to Alves and assured Santana was expected to fly to Manchester to discuss a move to Old Trafford as a free agent.
However, should the latest reports be true, it looks like Van Gaal's main target to replace Rafael will not be the Barcelona veteran but instead the young Porto star.