Everton look to be in pole position to sign Juan Mata with reports in Spain suggesting La Liga sides have pulled out of the race to sign the midfielder.
Spanish website Sport.es reports new Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, who sold Mata when he was Chelsea boss, is keen to offload the midfielder again as quickly as possible and is prepared to offer a cut price deal.
However, even with a reduced transfer fee it is claimed Mata would still be too expensive for Spanish clubs.
Valencia are keen to re-sign the 28-year-old, who spent four years at the Mestalla between 2007 and 2011, but their much publicised financial problems mean any deal is out of the question.
Sport.es say that only Spain’s big three - Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid - could afford to sign the midfielder, but none of them are interested.
Barcelona were reportedly offered the chance to sign earlier in the summer but turned it down.
That leaves Mata’s options severely limited and with Man Utd reportedly keen to sell quickly, Everton are suddenly in the driving seat.
Mata is believed to be valued at £21million, a fee Everton would have no problem in paying.
The Toffees are also in a position to offer substantial wages thanks to the backing of new owner Farhad Moshiri.
Mata reported back for pre-season training with Man United this week and has not spoken openly about his future.
But if this latest report is to be believed his future at Old Trafford looks uncertain and a move to Goodison Park now looks increasingly likely.