Manchester United may be about to face another set back in their bid to appoint a sporting director in the summer, as reports have emerged that Atletico Madrid are pulling out all the stops to keep hold of one of their targets in Andrea Berta.
United are thought to be considering several targets as they look to overhaul the structure of the club in the summer, with the biggest change expected to be the appointment of a sporting director, a role the club doesn't operate with at present.
Berta, who has held a similar role with Atletico throughout their recent successes, including their famous La Liga title win in 2013/14 and Champions League finals in 2014 and 2016, is widely thought to be one such target, but the Mirror say that his current club have offered the Italian an illustrious new deal in order to keep him in place.
United aren't thought to have given up, but it is thought that it will make the appointment a good deal more difficult should Ed Woodward and co decide on the 47-year-old as their main target.
Also in the frame is RB Leipzig and former Southampton director Paul Mitchell, as well as Juventus' Fabio Paratici, but the Italian side's reported desperation to hold onto the latter means that looks unlikely.
It's expected the club will make an announcement on a new director in the summer, around the same time they will make the much-anticipated announcement over who will succeed Jose Mourinho as the next permanent manager.
Current interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has overtaken Mauricio Pochettino to become slight favourite after the club's impressive performances in recent weeks, and there are a number of other candidates in the frame for that one.