Manchester United hope to persuade Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen to join them before the new season.
It was thought the 30-year-old would prefer to remain in London after making a successful comeback with Brentford in the second half of last season.
However a deal has not been agreed with either club, giving United the chance to make an offer for the free agent.
Eriksen had cardiac arrest while playing at Euro 2020 last June but was able to resume his career after being fitted with an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD).
After being released by Inter Milan – because the ICD device is not permitted in Serie A – Eriksen accepted Brentford’s offer of a six-month contract in January and manager Thomas Frank repeatedly said the Bees wanted to keep the former Ajax playmaker.
Eriksen left Tottenham for Inter in January 2020, helping them win the Serie A title in 2020-21 under current Spurs boss Antonio Conte.
Before he made his return to competitive football by joining Brentford, Conte said “the door is always open” to him training with Tottenham.
Manchester United’s move for Eriksen is unrelated to their continued efforts to sign Frenkie de Jong, with the Old Trafford club in contact with Barcelona about his availability.