Manchester United have made a €190m ($218m, £140m) bid for Barcelona forward Neymar and have earmarked the player as their marquee signing for the summer. The deal, should it go through, will be the biggest in the history of the game, easily eclipsing Real Madrid's bid for Gareth Bale, who transferred from Tottenham Hotspur to the Santiago Bernabeu in 2013.
Brazilian publication Globo Esporte claims that the Red Devils have activated his release clause and talks are ongoing over a possible move this window. The report states that Barcelona are not completely averse to a deal as they have been enticed by the figures being bandied around and may look to cash in and use the money to strengthen in different positions across the pitch once their transfer ban is lifted next January.
Meanwhile, United, who missed out on Pedro to Chelsea, want to add Neymar to bring more goals to their game, having scored only two in their last three matches in the league. United's chief executive Ed Woodward was recently in Spain to make a bid for the forward but reports suggest that a deal may be difficult to complete in the remaining few days of the transfer window. However, the Red Devils are willing to wait and will continue negotiations with Barcelona for a deal in the near future.
United have taken seven points from their first three games in the league and will face Club Brugge in the second leg of their Champions League qualifier on Wednesday, 26 August. They lead the home leg 3-1 and are favourites to finally make their way back into Europe's biggest club competition after finishing the 2013/14 season under David Moyes in seventh spot.
Meanwhile, Louis van Gaal has revealed that he is pleased with his side's performance off the ball, which has led to a better defensive organisation at the back. "I divide football in to four main moments and we have two moments where the opponent has the ball and then we are at our best, I think," Van Gaal said, as quoted by Goal.
"We proved that last year and now we are continuing with a lot of clean sheets so that is very important. But we have to improve when we have the ball.
"We have been a little bit unlucky. Liverpool and Arsenal was 0-0 on Monday but you can't say they didn't create anything."