Manchester City will intensify their efforts to sign Chile forward Alexis Sanchez this week in the hope of securing their principal summer transfer target.
The 22-year-old's preference is to move to Barcelona, Manchester United or Inter Milan, but City believe they can persuade the player that his career would be better served by a move from Udinese to Eastlands which will host Champions League football next season.
The Abu Dhabi-owned club are also in the market for a central defender and may also have to find a replacement for Jerome Boateng after the young Germany international asked to join Bayern Munich for family and sporting reasons.
City do not, though, want to sell Boateng for less than €20 million (Dh106m).
Udinese, meanwhile, are under no financial pressure to sell Sanchez and believe the widespread interest in the striker could drive his price as high as €38m.
Sanchez followed up several strong performances at the World Cup by scoring 12 League goals as a second striker as Udinese qualified for the Champions League.
While Barcelona have been in direct contact with both the Italian club and Sanchez's agent in recent weeks, their manoeuvres have been perceived as a negotiating tactic to push through a deal for Giuseppe Rossi, the Villarreal striker.
Barca have already agreed personal terms with the Italy international, who The National revealed as Pep Guardiola's key summer target two months ago. Talks between the clubs progressed well on Friday and Rossi's transfer may be agreed as early as tomorrow for around €30m.
That would leave Barcelona with a larger percentage of their €50m transfer budget than expected to persuade Arsenal, City's Premier League rivals, to finally release Cesc Fabregas.
The Catalan club believe they can raise a further €23m from the sale of surplus senior players and academy products for whom there is no room in their Champions League-winning first team.
In total, they expect to be able to offer up to £34m (Dh207.5m) for Fabregas, who has remained steadfast in his desire to return to his parent club since announcing it last summer. Fabregas has already agreed personal terms with Barcelona.
For Arsenal, an unexpected benefit of selling Fabregas could be to help convince Samir Nasri to remain in north London.
Although the French midfielder has encouraged the interest of United and Inter since reneging on a verbal agreement to extend his contract beyond its final year, he is understood to be more likely to remain at Arsenal if the team is reshaped around him. Nasri is looking for an annual salary in excess of £5m gross.
Inter are the main overseas suitors for Nasri, who Arsene Wenger has said he will not allow to be sold to United under any circumstances.
Sir Alex Ferguson's main target to reconstruct his midfield remains Luka Modric, Tottenham Hotspur's Croatian playmaker.