Despite reports over the weekend indicating progress in Manchester United's alleged pursuit of Leicester City centre-back Harry Maguire, the Reds are "miles away" from completing the signing, according to ESPN senior writer Mark Ogden.
Leicester are reportedly seeking £80 million for the England defender, and ESPN FC sources indicate that Man United are not at all close to meeting that figure.
United will have to pay £80m for Maguire
As with his predecessor, Jose Mourinho, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is desperate to sign a central defender to solidify a defence that has been a significant problem for the club for some years now.
United have made offers for Maguire already, none of which have been deemed anywhere acceptable by Leicester. The Foxes sign Maguire from Hull City just two years ago for an initial £12 million and are set to make a huge profit of the 26-year-old if he does indeed leave.
The first offer that came in is thought to have been around the £40m mark, a figure that is way off the current valuation of Maguire.
Last year, the Englishman was linked to United just as strongly, with Mourinho publicly complaining about his side's failure to bring in defensive reinforcements. If the club's CEO Ed Woodward does not bring Maguire to Old Trafford, Mourinho will watch on bitterly at home and question why exactly he was not allowed to sign him for a lesser fee.
Leicester under no pressure to sell Maguire to Man United
ESPN FC suggest that Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers, who arrived in the second half of last season, is not under any kind of pressure to sell players in order to raise funds for signing.
With the Premier League's enormous television deals providing Leicester with a hefty transfer budget in addition to owner investment, they are ready to demand a world record fee for a defender. United's rivals, Liverpool, broke that record last year to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton for £75m.
United must pay world record fee
Reports from English tabloids over the weekend insisted that United had had an offer accepted of an initial £60m. ESPN now claim that's false and that, while United are set to now offer £60m for Maguire, it's unlikely that a breakthrough in negotiations are near to a conclusion.
Manager Solskjaer will be watching on nervously with just three weeks remaining until the Premier League kicks off and the transfer window shuts.