Manchester City are reportedly lining up a £35million move for Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain as a possible alternative to Robin van Persie.
Higuain, who has been linked with the likes of Chelsea, Juventus, and Paris Saint-Germain, recently hinted that he could be ready to leave the club, although speaking in June he suggested that he could return to South America should he leave Madrid.
But according to the Daily Mirror, Premier League champions City could make a move to sign the 24-year-old as their pursuit of Arsenal captain Van Persie continues to be in danger of falling through.
City, along with rivals Manchester United, and Italian champions Juventus, all tabled bids for Van Persie last month after he announced he had no plans to sign a new contract at Emirates Stadium.
But City boss Roberto Mancini admitted earlier this week that the Blues face losing out to their rivals in the race to sign the Dutchman, and according to Wednesday's report, football administrator Brian Marwood would instead prefer to look to lure Argentina international Higuain to the Etihad Stadium.
Although Mancini still wants to sign Van Persie, it is believed the Dutchman would prefer to join either United or move to Italy and join Juve.
Van Persie knows a move to Serie A would avoid damaging his reputation with Arsenal fans, and is aware that joining City would almost certainly ruin his relationship with the north London club.
Before they can buy, however, City still need to offload strikers before the end of the month in a bid to meet UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules.
Emmanuel Adebayor's move to Tottenham is still in doubt however over his personal demands, while the big-spending Blues are also struggling to offload Roque Santa Cruz for similar reasons.
At time of writing, Manchester United remain favourites with bookmakers Sky Bet to win the race to sign Van Persie this summer, narrowly ahead of Man City, with Juventus third.
AC Milan, Barcelona, and Real Madrid have also shown interest in Van Persie in recent weeks.