Manchester United are interested in signing Juan Mata but have yet to make a bid for the Chelsea midfielder.
The 25-year-old is a player United boss David Moyes admires but Chelsea's valuation, believed to be more than £35m, could be a stumbling block.
Mata has struggled for regular football under manager Jose Mourinho and has not figured at all since New Year's Day.
United have no intention of selling England striker Wayne Rooney as part of any deal.
Senior figures at Old Trafford have told the BBC that United have not made a bid for the player. However it is understood that the Spanish international midfielder is a target as Moyes seeks to bring in new faces to freshen up his struggling team.
Chelsea are anticipating a bid for the playmaker in January despite the club's firm public stance that he will not leave. Mourinho told Football Focus at the weekend that Mata needed to "adopt to the direction" he was taking the team, but that he "didn't want him to go".
Mata, who has 32 caps for Spain, joined Chelsea from Valencia for £23.5m in August 2011. He was voted Chelsea's official player of the year for the past two seasons as the club won the FA Cup, Champions League and Europa League.
Defeat by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday left Manchester United 14 points adrift of leaders Arsenal and six behind fourth-placed Liverpool.
The club's record signing is £30.75m for Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov in 2008.