Manchester United manager David Moyes' preparations for next season are underway as he tracks a host of world-class stars and top young talent from across Europe.
Gary Jones of the Daily Star reports that 20-year-old German Matthias Ginter is now on the club's radar, and the player himself says he is flattered by United's interest.
The champions' problems in defence have been clear this season, and the young Freiburg player would be viewed as a long-term investment by United.
Jones writes that the £10 million rated player has also attracted interest from both Arsenal and Bayern Munich. After learning of United's interest, Jones quotes Ginter saying, "If it is true, I am of course honoured and excited."
Ginter has featured 28 times this season in the Bundesliga and the Europa League combined, per WhoScored.com, and his introduction would add balance to what is an ageing United squad.
As United continue their quest to sign a world-class central midfielder, there are hopeful noises in the cases of Toni Kroos and William Carvalho.
Felix Kroos recently inferred that his brother is considering a move from Bayern, as reported by Craig Hope from the Daily Mail.
Carvalho, meanwhile, has himself spoken directly about the possibility of joining United next season, as reported by Simon Austin of the Mirror:
It could be Manchester United or Real Madrid. It's just nice to have a great European club after me, but at the moment I'm just totally focused on Sporting and doing my best until the end of the season.
Sports writer Kevin Palmer also tweeted about Carvalho and a possible move to United in the summer:
This will be United's most important summer of transfer activity, and this year, the club needs to get it right. The shortcomings of last summer have derailed this current campaign, with Moyes and his players feeling the painful sting of defeat far too often.
United need world-class players and not just squad fillers. Juan Mata was a good purchase when considering this. He is a player who will play every week and give the team quality in areas that previously did not have it.
The signing of Ginter would be a questionable one despite the German's highly regarded pedigree. He is a very good young player and the type of signing Sir Alex Ferguson would have once made, but he is not what United need right now.
Moyes' tenure hangs by a thread, and he needs to purchase players who can hit the ground running. It is more than likely that Champions League football will not be at Old Trafford next year, so the urgency to return United to the top of the table will be present.
Both Kroos and Carvalho are wonderful players and the type of purchases United should be making. If the club can sign two top midfielders, it will be quickly back on track and very much a title contender once again.