Manchester United have made contact over a deal for Paul Pogba but the Juventus midfielder is waiting to see if Real Madrid make a move, multiple sources have told ESPN FC.
Club sources said United have made contact with both Juve and Pogba's agent, Mino Raiola, with regard to the 23-year-old, who left Old Trafford in acrimonious circumstances in 2012.
Jose Mourinho has identified central midfield as a priority area and is also continuing with his pursuit of Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic, but United sources said he has becoming increasingly enthusiastic about the idea of buying Pogba.
The prospective purchase has been discussed with super-agent Raiola along with the deal for another of his clients, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is expected to sign for United this summer.
United had already been in contact with Juventus due to a long-standing interest in the France international and have gone as far as discussing a potential fee that is likely to be more than £65 million.
However, sources close to both United and the player say that he is waiting to see what Real Madrid do, as Barcelona's lack of interest means the 2016 Champions League winners have become his first preference.
Madrid president Florentino Perez is also a huge fan of Pogba and told Marca last month that he considers him a "great player," although he added: "I don't want to talk about him, but I will say that in midfield we have six great players."
United hope that they can secure an agreement by offering Juan Mata as part of a potential deal with Juventus, although sources say it is possible that the Spain international could join the Italian champions regardless of whether the Pogba negotiations are successful.
Mourinho sold Mata when in charge at Chelsea and a source close to the club confirmed to ESPN FC last month that he would be open to selling the midfielder this summer.
Pogba remained coy on his plans in an exclusive interview with ESPN FC this week, saying he is not thinking about his future beyond the European Championship with France.
"I'm thinking about the match to come," he said. "Then there's the Euros, and after that the holidays."