Manchester United have not yet put in an offer for Chelsea playmaker Juan Mata.
The Premier League champions are reportedly willing to pay 37 million pounds for the Spain international but a source at Old Trafford told ESPN that no bid has been submitted.
ESPN reported earlier this month that United were monitoring Mata, who has lost his place in the Chelsea side this season, but that the Londoners would not want to let him join another English club.
However United manager David Moyes is believed to be planning to test Chelsea’s resolve to keep the 25-year-old and is prepared to smash the club's transfer record -- currently the 30.75 million pounds Sir Alex Ferguson spent on Dimitar Berbatov in 2009.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said at the start of January that it “hurt” him to omit Mata and that he did not want to sell the former Valencia player.
Mata, who joined Chelsea in 2011, won the club’s Player of the Year award in each of his first two seasons at Stamford Bridge but Mourinho has preferred to pick Oscar, Willian and Eden Hazard as the three attacking midfielders in his side.
United’s relationship with Chelsea has been complicated by Mourinho’s summer attempts to buy Wayne Rooney, which Moyes and vice-chairman Ed Woodward rebuffed.
The United boss has only made one major signing so far -- Marouane Fellaini from his former club Everton – and he has scouted extensively across Europe in his search for reinforcements.
Moyes and his coaching staff have watched players including Koke, Sami Khedira, Arturo Vidal, Paul Pogba and Marco Reus and it is thought he is keenest to strengthen in the centre of midfield.
That would appear to rule out Mata, with former United captain Gary Neville expressing surprise at the suggestion Moyes was targeting the Spain international.
Neville told Sky Sports: "That's a lot of money, 37 million pounds, but they need a signing. Does he fit with what I would call the typical philosophy of Manchester United? I would say no.
"The first question, I think, is where are you going to play? Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie are up top if they are fit so where are you going to play him? Are you going to play him off the left or off the right?”