MANCHESTER UNITED reportedly sent scouts to watch Valencia striker Maxi Gomez against Barcelona at the weekend.
And the reports back are bound to have been positive - the 23-year-old scored twice as Los Ches stunned Messi and co with a 2-0 win.
Spanish radio station Cadena SER reported that the Premier League club had scouts in the crowd at the Mestalla.
United are desperate for re-inforcements, with the midfield and forward line causing boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer particular concern.
They failed to replace Romelu Lukaku when he left for Inter Milan, and now Marcus Rashford could be out for eight weeks with a back injury.
That leaves only erratic Anthony Martial and rookie Mason Greenwood as forward options.
GOMEZ'S £140M RELEASE FEE
But Gomez, who is more likely not to arrive until the summer, would not come cheap.
Valencia signed the Uruguay international from Celta Vigo for £12.5m in the summer with Santi Mina and Jorge Saenz also part of the deal going the other way.
But when he joined Valencia, the club inserted a £120m release clause in his contract.
He has gone on to score 10 goals in 25 games in all competitions.
Another striker United were interested in was Jean-Kevin Augustin - but he opted to join Championship side Leeds instead.
According to The Athletic Man Utd made a late move to bring in the 22-year-old, but "it was too late and not strong enough".
Augustin ended up cutting short his loan at Monaco to sign for the Championship title-chasers.
And they could be facing up to the prospect of losing out on long-time transfer target Bruno Fernandes too.
SunSport exclusively revealed the deal was stalling over bonus payments.
It is thought United want to pay an initial £46million up front with a further £12m in potential add-ons for the 25-year-old.
But the Portuguese club feel they can get a larger fee in the summer for Fernandes based on what the Red Devils paid for Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£50million) and Harry Maguire (£85m).