Manchester United seemed to be ahead in the race to sign Wesley Sneijder from Inter Milan, but they now face some competition from Malaga, who have already agreed to match the asking price for the Dutch playmaker.
Although Sneijder is happy with life in Milan, Inter are reportedly happy to sell one of their star assets for €35m.
Manchester United have been linked with Sneijder for much of the summer, but have been slow to formulate a bid, particularly after focusing on the signings of David De Gea, Phil Jones and Ashley Young.
However, Malaga have been far quicker in their transfer dealings and according to Spanish newspaper AS have already offered the asking price.
The news comes from Italian agent Ernesto Bronzetti, who also indicated that communication has already taken place between both parties.
Under new Sheikh ownership, Malaga have already enjoyed a fruitful summer, luring the likes of Dutch duo Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Joris Mathijsen, French midfielder Jeremy Toulalan and highly-rated Spanish left back Nacho Monreal to the club.
Meanwhile, Malaga have also been linked with Spanish winger Santi Cazorla, Argentine playmaker Javier Pastore and Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez as they look to assemble a squad capable of challenging Barcelona and Real Madrid for La Liga honours.
However, there is still time for Manchester United to act and he is widely regarded as a suitable replacement for the retired Paul Scholes, particularly by first-team coach Rene Meulensteen.
Manchester United’s odds are 7/4 to win a second successive Premier League title and the capture of Sneijder could prove the final piece of the jigsaw they need.
Sneijder’s acquisition could also provide some valuable creativity in Europe and it is 6/1 that Manchester United go one better than last season and win the Champions League.