Manchester United officials believe Eric Dier wants to leave Tottenham and move to Old Trafford, although the north London club are in no mood to sell one of their prized assets, according to reports.
Citing sources, ESPN says Dier is now United boss Jose Mourinho's number-one midfield target after a move for Chelsea's Nemanja Matic stalled.
The Red Devils beat Chelsea in the race to sign Romelu Lukaku from Everton earlier this week, souring relations between the two clubs and reducing the chances Matic being transferred between them.
A third midfield option in Monaco's Tiemoue Bakayoko is reportedly close to joining Chelsea.
Sources told ESPN that United are preparing a £50m ($64m) bid to prise Dier away from Spurs and that the Red Devils are willing to double the England international's current wages of £70,000 per week.
United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is understood to have already made an approach for Dier at the end of the season, but it was rebuffed by Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.
The 23-year-old can play as a defensive midfielder, a centre-back or a right-back and has four years left on his Spurs contract.
Dier's preference is to play in central midfield, but he was mostly deployed as part of back three alongside Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen by Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino last season.
Dier's sale could also provide Spurs with a much-needed windfall, with the building cost of their new stadium predicted to soar past £800m – double the initial estimate.
Meanwhile, Levy remains open to selling right-back Kyle Walker to Manchester City provided his £50m asking price is met.
Walker is reported to have clashed with Pochettino over fitness and training and was unhappy at being left out of the team for key matches such as the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea and the north London derby against Arsenal.
Spurs already have a ready-made replacement for Walker in Kieran Trippier, while the north London club are also reported to be monitoring Porto right-back Ricardo Pereira.