Real Madrid are set to complete the signing of Porto star Danilo for around €25m (£18m, $27.5m) even though Manchester United were also interested in securing his services, reports in Spain have claimed.
Following the arrival of Brazilian midfielder Lucas Silva during the January transfer window, the Spanish giants have earmarked the signing of a right-back to backup Dani Carvajal as the top priority for the summer – as former Liverpool defender Alvaro Arbeloa's future at the club looks uncertain.
Several reports in the last days have claimed Carlo Ancelotti had identified Brazilian international Danilo as the main target for the role.
The 23-year-old full-back joined Porto for around £10m in summer 2012 and has since become one of the most sought-after players around Europe in his position.
Barcelona had indeed identified him also as the perfect replacement for out of contract Dani Alves but earlier this week Catalan-based newspaper Sport revealed that the Catalans had retired from the battle to secure his services as, following contacts to the players' advisers, they understood he was already in advanced negotiations to move somewhere else – said to be either the Santiago Bernabeu or Old Trafford.
Louis van Gaal is indeed looking for an offensive full-back to replace out-of-favour defender Rafael at the end of the campaign and the Porto star was said to be on the top of his shopping list alongside Alves.
But according to Spanish TV La Sexta Real Madrid are set to beat the Premier League giants for Danilo as the negotiations with both the player and the club are almost closed.
LA Sexta claimed that the clubs have already prepared the contract and are just awaiting signatures from all the relevant parties to complete a deal for around €25m.
Spanish newspaper Marca earlier this week had already claimed that Danilo had told Los Blancos he wanted a move to the Santiago Bernabeu during a meeting with the player's agent in Madrid.
Should the reports prove true and Real Madrid complete the signing of Danilo, van Gaal may consider a focus on Alves's arrival as a free-agent.
Nevertheless, the Barcelona star agent, Dinorah Santana, claimed earlier this week that the Brazilian international is "close to signing" for a new club as the Catalans have not contacted them yet regarding a new deal.