Manchester United could end up paying £70million for Sean Longstaff next summer, as a result of hesitation from their executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, the Daily Mail reports.
The Newcastle United midfielder emerged as a key target for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer earlier this summer, despite his lack of Premier League experience.
Longstaff made an eye-catching first team breakthrough at St James' Park last season, but a burgeoning campaign was cut short after only nine appearances following a cruciate knee ligament injury.
United and Solskjaer were confident of concluding a deal for as little as £20m in June.
With owner Mike Ashley again looking to sell the club he has owned for 12 years and Rafa Benitez quitting for China, United sought a cut-price deal for the 21-year-old, but failed to agree a fee with Newcastle.
Woodward's delaying tactics could cost United a lot and they now face the prospect of paying over three times as much for Longstaff, should they come calling again next summer.