Manchester United have reportedly made an offer of €25 million for Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng, well short of the Germans' €50 million valuation of the player.
According to Bild (h/t Sport Witness), United manager Jose Mourinho even contemplated a loan move at first, but Bayern scoffed at the notion.
The report stated United don't want to go overboard with the transfer sum, as Boateng's wage demands will be high.
Sport Witness noted Bayern club sources have liberally leaked news to the German press, as it seems they're trying to push this transfer. According to them, this latest development "could be a case of Bayern pushing the player towards Old Trafford and then getting a reply they may not have been expecting."
The 29-year-old has long been one of Bayern's top defenders, but he struggled with injury in the 2017-18 campaign and had a disastrous World Cup with Germany. Transfer speculation has been doing the rounds for some time, and things have accelerated in the last few days.
Some have questioned the Bavarians' eagerness to sell one of their stars:
United are in the market for another defender, with frequent links to the likes of Toby Alderweireld, Harry Maguire and Yerry Mina, per Sky Sports News. Boateng was initially seen as a cheaper alternative to the first two, but Bayern's demands would seem to quash that theory.
The Premier League transfer window will close Thursday, so there's not a lot of time left for Bayern and United to reach a consensus on a fee. It seems far more likely one of their other targets will join, with Alderweireld believed to be in pole position.
Bayern may have overplayed their hand here and will have to turn to other suitors. According to ESPN FC's Jonathan Johnson, Paris Saint-Germain are also interested, but once the Premier League window slams shut, they too will be prudent in their bidding, knowing there are fewer clubs left to compete with.