Manchester United will make a last big attempt to sign Gareth Bale from Real Madrid in the final week of the transfer window and hope to resolve the David De Gea situation at the same time, sources have told ESPN FC.
United have a long-standing interest in Bale, which goes as far back as Real's interest in De Gea, and feel they can now finally leverage the situation to their advantage.
The English club have taken an exceptionally hard line with Real over De Gea -- whose contract is up at the end of this season -- and were initially insistent that the goalkeeper would not leave unless Sergio Ramos went the other way.
With the central defender having signed a new contract at the Bernabeu, the English club have only hardened their stance further, but sources have told ESPN FC that there is optimism at the club that Real's increased willingness to sign De Gea could allow significant room for negotiation over Bale.
Real president Florentino Perez has so far been highly reluctant to sell such stars, particularly as he orchestrated the big-money deal from Tottenham in 2013 and made the Wales international such a big part of his "project."
Until this point, though, there has been no indication that Real would sell Bale -- and ESPN FC was told this week that he is not for sale at any price -- but that has not diminished United's motivation, and sources have said they believe a change in approach is possible.
United remain determined to secure a marquee signing this summer, and sources have also said that their interest in Thomas Muller has not dropped, despite Bayern Munich dismissing any possibility of a sale.
There is an acceptance this window may just represent the first steps in what could be a long-term move to bring in the Germany forward next year.
United have also not given up on Everton's John Stones and will still attempt to hijack Chelsea's bid to sign the centre-back, who submitted a transfer request this week.
United had previously mooted the idea of sending Jonny Evans to Goodison Park in part-exchange but, with Everton manager Roberto Martinez relatively cool on the idea of bringing in the Northern Ireland defender, United may instead offer Phil Jones.