Benfica midfielder Nemanja Matic is subject to interest from Liverpool and Manchester United, The Sun report.
The Serbian enforcer impressed last season as Benfica progressed to the Europa League final, eventually losing to the 25 year old's former club Chelsea through Branislav Ivanovic's late goal.
Matic's side were also runners up in Primeira Liga after losing their penultimate game of the season to eventual champions FC Porto.
Both Liverpool and United are understood to be seeking to launch a bid for Matic but are put off by the player's €50m release clause.
However, reports suggest both clubs are confident of landing the ex-Chelsea man for a fee of €30m, making it likely both sides will ramp up their interest.
Having enjoyed success since leaving Stamford Bridge in 2011, as part of the deal which took David Luiz to west London, Matic said in June he would relish the chance to play under Jose Mourinho.
"Frankly, I want to stay another year in Lisbon," he told Sportske.net.
"Of course, someone like Jose Mourinho wanting me to go back to London would be an opportunity to prove that I can play in the Premier League. But I want to achieve more at Benfica, particularly in the big games."
Liverpool and United's hopes of lowering Matic's valuation rest on convincing president Luís Filipe Vieira to accept a cut-price bid.
"If Gareth Bale is worth €100 million, then Matic is worth €50m or more," Vieira said in August.
"There are not many like him. It is one of the best defensive midfielders in the world. He is tall, strong, has technical and all the qualities that make him a top player and ready to play in the best leagues in Europe."
While Liverpool signed eight new players in the summer transfer window, Brendan Rodgers will soon face the conundrum of having to replace captain Steven Gerrard, who celebrated his testimonial in the summer.
United meanwhile are desperate for midfield options with Michael Carrick out injured and Marouane Fellaini having endured a limited impact since his deadline day move from Everton.
Manager David Moyes has made no secret of his disappointment over the club's dealings in the window and having had a bid rejected for Ander Herrera appears certain to continue his pursuit of a central midfielder.