Edinson Cavani has ruled out a move to Manchester United because the club "can no longer offer him the standard of football he wants," according to reports.
As reported by Jeremy Cross of the Mirror, the Red Devils were thought to be lining up an £80 million bid for the Paris Saint-Germain forward, a bid that would now appear fruitless:
A source close to Cavani told Starsport: "He is well aware of United's interest in him and at one stage this might have seemed like an attractive proposal.
"But the fact is Manchester United can no longer offer him the standard of football he wants or thinks he deserves.
"The club is going through huge changes and he doesn't feel the time is right to even consider going to Old Trafford."
United are expected to significantly strengthen during the summer after a difficult season with David Moyes at the helm, but it appears Cavani won't be joining the Scotsman's line-up.
Richard Keys, former Sky Sports presenter, had previously suggested the Uruguayan's move is a "done deal" if United can convince him to leave the French capital, something that now appears difficult.
Cross' source underlines a problem United may struggle to overcome during the next transfer window. Moyes' inability to stamp a sense of character and purpose into his team has seen the club drop to seventh in the Premier League, a slump that is unlikely to result in Champions League football next season.
Despite beating Olympiakos 3-2 on aggregate to advance through the current competition, United's victory doesn't change anything when aiming to buy world-class talent. Cavani is pretty much guaranteed European football at PSG, and he's unlikely to be attracted to the Theatre of Dreams despite Robin van Persie's hat-trick prolonging their stay in the elite tournament.
It also doesn't undo Moyes' continued failure this season, a feeling shared by Phil McNulty of BBC Sport, who wrote, "These are the fine margins Moyes is operating within. On Wednesday he came down on the right side but it was still too close for comfort."
Cavani's 18 goals in 29 appearances across Ligue 1 and Europe (h/t WhoScored.com) reconfirm his status as one of the continent's hottest goalscorers—despite Laurent Blanc pushing him out wide for a large part of the campaign—but United fans may worry if his concerns prove to be true.
Moyes landed Juan Mata in January, seemingly hushing those who said he wouldn't be able to sign top players, but the former Chelsea player was desperate to leave Stamford Bridge. United's lure will receive an honest assessment when the team make a bid for an individual who is settled, playing regularly and at a competitive club.
The manager certainly believes he will have little trouble securing his targets at the end of the campaign, as reported by Sky Sports:
Manchester United are not only the biggest club in this country, but the biggest club in the world.
I don't think any of the aura is fading whatsoever. Some of the results have not been what you would want, but I wouldn't say the aura is fading - in fact, I think the opposite.
There is no issue about signing big players - not by my trips and the things I am hearing. The number of big players wanting to join Manchester United is incredible.
Ultimately, United have the financial power to lure world-class players, but it will be interesting to see if that proves powerful enough to wrap up all of Moyes' targets. With Liverpool seemingly on the rise and heading into the Champions League, Brendan Rodgers' team may start to find previously off-limit stars are happy to represent the Anfield club, the complete opposite to United.
Both Moyes and his team need to continue the momentum gained against Olympiakos. A difficult trip to West Ham looms, followed by a home tie with Manchester City. If United lose either of these, Moyes' future will once again be called into question alongside his ability to sign the players Old Trafford wants to see.