Manchester United are the latest club linked with a move for Schalke and Germany midfield starlet Leon Goretzka, with the Manchester Evening News claiming that the Old Trafford club have received a significant 'boost' after Barcelona denied interest in the player.
Goretzka had been a rumoured target for the Catalan giants, as well as the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool, but now chief Camp Nou scout Ariedo Braida has ruled his club out of the running.
Speaking this week on the matter, the Barça offical doesn't believe the 22-year-old is ready.
"He is certainly a great player, but for Barcelona it is too soon. I travel around the world in search of great talent, but our demands are extremely high," Braida explained.
Whether United are seriously interested in Goretzka or not remains to be seen, but the Germany international is highly thought of by many and is currently due to be a free agent at the end of the season as his Schalke contract is fast expiring.
Having signed Nemanja Matic this summer, United could be in the market for a new midfielder come the summer of 2018. Michael Carrick, who will be just two months shy of his 37th birthday when the current season finishes, is likely to retire and will need replacing.
The alternative for Jose Mourinho is to promote from within. The United boss was disappointed that Andreas Pereira chose to spend another year out on loan rather than fight for a first-team place at Old Trafford, with the young Brazilian impressing during pre-season in a central role.
Mourinho has also kept home-grown talent Scott McTominay in and around the first-team squad since handing him a debut towards the end of last season.