Manchester United are considering scuppering Arsenal's interest in Valencia defender Adil Rami by mounting a bid of their own, reports suggest.
The imposing centre half has enjoyed an impressive season for Los Che this campaign, but may have alienated himself from the club's fans in recent weeks by declaring that he is ready to play for a "big, European club."
Arsenal have been linked with the 27-year-old throughout the season as Arsene Wenger reportedly seeks to strengthen his defensive options after relatively poor showings from Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny this campaign.
But Portuguese newspaper A Bola reports that Sir Alex Ferguson has identified the powerful defender as a possible addition to his United side, and may consider lodging a bid when the summer transfer window opens.
Given the advancing years of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic's persistent injury concerns, United have been linked with a number of centre halves as the season draws to its conclusion. Ezequiel Garay of Benfica has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford, although emerging interest from Real Madrid suggests the club may have a battle on their hands to secure the Argentina international.
A Bola suggests Rami has a release clause of €25 million, leaving Valencia to secure a tidy profit should the defender depart, having signed him a modest €6 million from Lille in January 2011.
The French defender has also been targeted by Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala, but Rami has made it abundantly clear that he sees his future with a more established presence in European football, identifying England as a possible destination.
"I'm not going to Anzhi Makhachkala, even though I had a good proposition from this team," Rami told Le Parisien earlier in the month.
"I have not had my last word on the France team and I will consider this factor when choosing my future. England? Maybe. I need to be at a big club in Europe."