Manchester United have enquired about signing Ivan Rakitic from Barcelona, sources have told ESPN.
United are looking at options to bolster Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's threadbare squad ahead of Friday's transfer deadline and have been made aware of Rakitic's availability.
However, an agreement is not thought to be close and Rakitic's desire to keep his family in Spain is another potential stumbling block.
Rakitic, 31, has a contract at Camp Nou until 2021 but would be allowed to leave for a fee in the region of €20 million.
Sources have told ESPN that United have made a breakthrough in their pursuit of Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes after hopes of an agreement had looked to be fading with time running before the deadline. If that deal materialises, it would likely scupper the Rakitic move.
Solskjaer is still on the look out for a striker to compensate for the loss of Marcus Rashford, who has been ruled out for two months after suffering a stress fracture in his back, but sources have told ESPN there remains a distinct possibility United will end the window with no new players.
Solskjaer has been boosted by the return of Eric Bailly and Timothy Fosu-Mensah after injury while Marcos Rojo has returned to training but the Norwegian has lost his club captain after Ashley Young moved to Inter Milan for €1.5m.