Manchester United boss José Mourinho is believed to have set his sights on signing Chelsea winger Willian before the transfer deadline, and is willing to let Anthony Martial leave in a sensational swap deal with the Blues.
The report claims that Chelsea are eager to keep Willian, and the United hierarchy want to keep Martial, but Mourinho may look to put his foot down and drive through a deal before Thursday's deadline.
Blues boss Mauricio Sarri has reportedly been frustrated by Willian's delayed return from World Cup duty with the club, following a bizarre incident involving an allegedly expired passport and an agent claiming to be in the process of negotiating a transfer. Despite these issues, Sarri is still eager to hold onto Willian, having been impressed by his raw pace and dribbling skills.
Mourinho's frustrations with Martial are equally unusual, with the Frenchman's decision to attend his son's birth during United's pre-season tour apparently riling the former Chelsea boss. However, a conflicting report, also from the Mirror, insists that the Red Devils' officials will have the final say, and won't sanction the sale of one of their most promising young talents.
Clearly, with the same source offering conflicting opinions, it appears that nobody is quite sure exactly where both clubs currently stand on the deal. It would certainly be a bold move for the Blues to sell another top star to United, having previously allowed Juan Mata and Nemanja Matić to join their Premier League rivals in recent seasons.
The plot could be set to get even thicker though, as Martial has reportedly not traveled with the club to play a pre-season friendly against Bayern Munich on Sunday. The source also claims that Mourinho could even look to offer Martial to Spurs, in order to seal a more financial prudent move for top defensive target Toby Alderweireld.
Meanwhile, the Blues are set to offer their talismanic forward Eden Hazard a new £300k per week deal, in order to stave off interest from Real Madrid. The Belgian ace is due back from his post-World Cup leave tomorrow, and is likely to head straight into crunch talks with the club to finally decide his footballing future.