Manchester City are set to launch a late, cut-price bid to sign Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Blaise Matuidi this week, Goal understands.
The France international, 26, is out of contract this summer and has demanded at least a doubling of his current £40k-a-week wages to pen a new deal at Le Parc des Princes.
|THE VIEW FROM FRANCE
|By Laetitia Jacquesson | Goal France
Matuidi has improved massively since last year. He is now a bigger physical presence and there is still room for further improvement. With Yohan Cabaye's imminent transfer to PSG, Matuidi could certainly leave Paris as the competition for places intensifies.
The club's mega-rich owners want to recruit a big-name midfield target like Paul Pogba in the summer so that, coupled with the arrival of Cabaye and with Marco Verratti also competing for a place, means the door is open for Matuidi to leave.
At this late stage in the window, the chances of concluding a deal are touch-and-go, but City boss Manuel Pellegrini sees the 26-year-old as an ideal addition to bolster his side's title charge in the second half of the season.
And rather than lose Matuidi for nothing at the end of the season, City believe that PSG would consider offers as low as £3m.
That would enable Pellegrini's side to offer hugely improved contract terms, with City prepared to pay Matuidi a £3.5m signing-on fee and £100k-a-week wages.
Pellegrini's keenness to add to his midfield options was underlined in Saturday's 4-2 FA Cup win over Championship outfit Watford, during which the Chilean was forced to push centre-half Michel Demichelis into a defensive midfield position.
City are currently second in the Premier League table, but have yet to add to their squad this month after spending more than £100m last summer.
Title rivals Chelsea, meanwhile, have already brought in Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah - the latter a straight swap for Juan Mata following his move to Manchester United - while Arsenal are desperately trying to conclude a deal to sign Schalke forward Julien Draxler having sent a delegation to Germany to negotiate a potential transfer.