Since the summer transfer window opened on July 1, the future of Barcelona star Cesc Fabregas has been in question, as rumors have swirled around whether he'll remain at Camp Nou beyond August.
That's why, according to the Daily Mail's Ian Ladyman, United are intent on acquiring the 26-year-old midfielder, as it would symbolize the first major transfer of the David Moyes regime.
Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has left the club's pre-season tour of Australia to push through a move for Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas.
United remain confident of securing the services of Fabregas despite Barca's insistence he wants to remain at the Nou Camp and Arsenal having a £25million first refusal on their former captain.
But for their part, Barcelona aren't giving in to the notion that Fabregas wants to leave the team he only joined two years ago, and if the club is to part ways with him, it will take a handsome transfer fee to do so.
From a football standpoint, letting Fabregas go probably wouldn't be too much of a blow to the team's lineup, as the Spanish international was relegated to the bench during the club's final Champions League matches of 2013, and his offensive numbers declined significantly this past season.
Obviously, Fabregas undoubtedly remains a world-class talent, so if Barcelona were to decide to move on, one has to think they would be on the lookout for a replacement with the money they'd receive in return.
As of now, it seems that Manchester United's hopes of acquiring Fabregas may have been a bit of wishful thinking, as Barcelona have insisted they're not interested in moving him, per The Sun's Neil Custis and Mark Irwin.
United believe Fabregas is willing to join them — if Barcelona want to sell.
But Barca coach Tito Vilanova said last night: “I know he has received offers from other teams but Cesc has told me it is his dream to stay.
“He doesn’t want to go to other teams for money or playing time.
“He knows there is competition for places but he wants to stay.”
So, to recap, Barcelona's Vilanova is up front in saying that Fabregas' playing time could be in question next season, but regardless of the competition, Fabregas has apparently assured the team he has no interest in leaving.
But it's important to keep in mind that Fabregas has never before been forced to play a secondary role, as he was Arsenal's unquestioned leader for a prolonged period of time and has been a valued contributor on Spain's national team for the last decade.
If Fabregas wasn't pleased with being benched occasionally last season, or feels it may happen more frequently in the future, it seems logical that he'd be open to moving again.
Manchester United will almost certainly increase their bid for the star midfielder; all that remains to be seen is whether Barcelona are impressed by it enough to consider the offer.