Earlier on Wednesday, it was widely reported that the Red Devils’ huge €130m (£109.8m) bid for Joao Felix had been firmly rebuffed.
The La Liga giants have now responded publicly by tweeting a photo of the highly rated Portuguese striker in training with the simple one-word caption: ‘Priceless’.
Crisis-hit United’s reported jab for Felix comes amid a frantic late run for high-profile deals before the summer transfer window closes for business on September 1.
Erik ten Hag is eager to strengthen himself in the backbone of the team after a dismal start to the new Premier League season which saw them lose at home to Brighton before being deservedly beaten 4-0 at Brentford.
Dozens of players are linked with moves to Old Trafford as part of a scattershot approach, with Felix and Atletico team-mate Matheus Cunha joining Chelsea trio Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi on a long list of targets.
Ajax winger Antony is another returning player in Ten Hag’s sights, with relentless rumors also linking Casemiro, Moises Caicedo, Thomas Meunier, Sergino Dest, Yann Sommer and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic with moves to Manchester .
However, a proposed move for Adrien Rabiot from Juventus has now backfired due to an unwillingness to meet the French midfielder’s hefty wage demands.