Barcelona fear being gazumped by Manchester United for Udinese star Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez has struck personal terms with Barca, but the European champs are struggling to meet Udinese's asking price.
Sport says United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been informed of Sanchez's agreement and been given the green light to enter the auction.
United are ready to immediately slap in a €30 million offer - and are prepared to go as high as €35 million for the Chile international.
While Sanchez has talked up the prospect of moving to Barca, the midfielder also likes the idea of playing for United and will leave the final decision with Udinese.
Also in United's favour is Ferguson's good relationship with Sanchez's agent, Fernando Felicevich.
For their part, Barca can only go as high as €25 million and would have to include players to make up the shortfall. Even then, they face a battle, with both Jeffren Suarez and Bojan Krkic already complaining about reports they could be used as makeweights.