Highly-rated Torino midfielder Alessio Cerci has edged one step closer to a move to Manchester United, after admitting he is open to a transfer from the Stadio Olimpico, reports Football Italia.
Cerci has been in excellent form this term, bagging nine goals and seven assists for Il Toro, per Goal.com.
Such form has attracted a host of Premier League sides, and Cerci has made no secret of his desire to play Champions League football, as reported by Football Italia:
In Turin there is an environment that has given me a lot.
But my ultimate ambition is to play in the Champions League.
Right now we are seventh, but the goal at the end of the season is to avoid relegation.
However, United will face a fight for the 26-year-old Italian international. Forza Italian Football reported that the Red Devils will have to compete with Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Liverpool for the attacking midfielder’s signature.
United, though, are believed to be leading the race for Cerci, who made all of his nine international appearances in 2013.
It is expected to be a busy January transfer window for David Moyes' side, who have faced a difficult start to the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.
Only Marouane Fellaini was brought in by Moyes over the summer but, despite this, United remain just about in touch with Premier League front runners, Arsenal.
Thinkfootball.co.uk reports that Cerci has enjoyed something of a renaissance under Giampiero Ventura at Torino, his former boss at Pisa in Serie B.
Having struggled to fulfill his potential at Roma and Fiorentina, he has been deployed as both a second striker and a right winger in Turin by Ventura. Cerci's subsequent burst of form culminated in a call-up from Cesare Prandelli.
With United increasingly dependent on the talents of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, Cerci’s ability to attack centrally or out wide could help to relieve some of the burden on United’s strike force.
Legendary United goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel, recently told the Daily Mail that Moyes needs to clear out some big names from the Red Devils' squad:
I think more than anything, he should let players go. There are some players in there that are not doing the job and haven't been doing the job for a bit now.
To be a Manchester United player it requires a certain level of performance, mentality and you have got to be proud to be a Manchester United player.
I just see with five or six players that they don't care and we have never ever had players that don't care. You should care.
Caughtoffside.com reported that Moyes is ready to listen to offers for Nani and Ashley Young in an effort to mould his own squad. Tom Cleverley, Anderson and Antonio Valencia may also be among those who face a fight for their Old Trafford futures.
Should either Nani or Young make way, Cerci could prove to be an astute replacement.