Inter Milan are considering launching a loan move for out-of-favour Henrikh Mkhitaryan as they cannot afford to buy the Manchester United midfielder on a permanent deal, according to reports.
The Daily Mail says Inter coach Luciano Spalletti is keen on signing Mkhitaryan to bolster his attacking options, but the Serie A club will have to sell to meet United's asking price of £35m ($47m) and follow financial fair play rules.
Armenia international Mkhitaryan has fallen out of favour with United boss Jose Mourinho, who has suggested that he could let the midfielder leave the club in January after growing frustrated with his poor form.
The 28-year-old has not started a game for United since 5 November and has been left out of the matchday squad for five of the club's last seven matches.
Earlier reports had suggested that Inter could offer Portuguese midfielder Joao Mario as a makeweight to United in order to persuade them to sell Mkhitaryan.
Mourinho has identified Chelsea midfielder Willian, Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil and Bordeaux's Malcom as potential replacements should the Armenia captain be sold.
"I think, for the right price [I would sell unhappy players]," the Portuguese coach was quoted as saying by FourFourTwo before United's trip to West Brom earlier this month.
"That's my approach as a manager, in cases where the club advises me. Every player has a price.
"If a player is not happy, if a player brings with him the request with the number that we consider a good number for us, like it happened with Memphis [Depay] and Morgan [Schneiderlin], I would never say no."
Sources close to United told ESPN that the relationship between Mourinho and Mkhitaryan had broken down following a row between the two during a video analysis session at the club's Carrington training ground last month.
The playmaker was reportedly unhappy at Mourinho for singling him out for criticism over his defensive work rate in front of the rest of the first-team squad.
Borussia Dortmund are also reported to be interested in signing the 28-year-old, whom they sold to United for £30m in July 2016.