Manchester United look set to miss out on Borussia Dortmund target Sven Bender after the 23-year-old extended his contract at the Bundesliga club.
United were reportedly ready to sign Bender this summer as well as making a bid for his brother, Lars, from Bayer Leverkusen. However, Sven has signalled his intent to stay in Germany by signing a long term contract extension with the German champions.
It means United may have to look elsewhere for their Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs replacements as the price tag for the Dortmund star has just dramatically increased from the £15 million they were willing to part with.
Real Madrid players Mesut Ozil and Luka Modric have both been linked with moves to Old Trafford although either player would be much more expensive than either of the Bender brothers.
Kevin Strootman of PSV Eindhoven remains a very realistic target for this summer as speculation and reports have linked United with the Dutchman for a number of weeks.
The only possible stumbling block to an approach for Strootman is the fact that English newspapers have reported that Liverpool are now in the mix to sign the player which could lead to a bidding war which Sir Alex Ferguson may not be up for.
The other possible option from Borussia Dortmund is Kevin Grosskreutz who was linked with United before Christmas and New Year.
The midfielder said he would prefer a move to Old Trafford over Anfield because of the higher levels of quality at United and the chance it would give him to link up with former teammate Shinji Kagawa, who United signed last summer.
A move could still be on the cards for Sven Bender and the contract extension could well be Dortmund ensuring they get a higher fee for the player who has been in and out of the side throughout the season due to injury problems.