A senior figure at Barcelona has likened Manchester United to a Chinese Super League club and suggests Matthijs de Ligt would be damaging his career if he joined Old Trafford, the UK Independent reports.
United are reportedly ready to make De Ligt the highest-paid teenager in world football with a contract offer worth £350,000 a week.
Barcelona, meanwhile, have reportedly agreed a €70m (£61.7m) transfer fee with Ajax, but are refusing to meet the demands of De Ligt's agent Mino Raiola.
The LaLiga giants are confident of wrapping up the deal and reacted with "bemusement" when it was put to them that United could win the battle for the Dutch defender.
"With the state, they're in, it's not far off picking the Chinese league, career-wise.
"It'd be sacrificing development and ambition for money in the same way," the Barcelona source said.