Manchester United Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of March 24
Manchester United are readying themselves for what promises to be an incredibly busy summer.
David Moyes almost has one season under his belt as Red Devils chief, and big-money signings of Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini are likely to be followed up with more splurging come the end of this campaign.
This week, targets both old and new have crept up as supposed options for the Premier League big guns, with a certain Real Madrid full-back once again on United's radar as well as an impending move for one of Portugal's rising talents.
We'll provide you with all the latest news, gossip and rumours related to Manchester United throughout the week.
Barcelona Send Team Doctor to Check on Gundogan's Injury Recovery
Friday, March 28
Having made just one Bundesliga appearance this season, Ilkay Gundogan's spine issues are understood to be affecting the chances of Manchester United signing the Borussia Dortmund midfielder this summer.
The Express' Ben Jefferson alleges reports in Spain as saying that Barcelona's chief doctor was recently sent to check on the German international's progress, intensifying speculation linking the Catalan club wit his services:
Manchester United are known to be interested in bringing the 23-year-old to Old Trafford, with some reports suggesting that Shinji Kagawa could be included in a possible swap deal in the summer.
But this latest development may mean that Barcelona are now in pole position to land the German international should all the medical issues check out.
Gundogan has just over a year remaining on his contract at Signal Iduna Park and is yet to sign an extension, opening the door for a summer exit.
Barca Place £12m Price Tag on Alex Song, Inter Lead the Chase
UPDATE: Thursday, March 28
Inter have taken a lead in the hunt to sign Song from Barcelona this summer after it emerged that the Serie A giants were interested in securing a cut-price deal for his signature.
TalkSPORT say that Erick Thohir's side have offered £10 million for the central midfielder, and Barca could be tempted into cashing in.
The report goes on to say that Inter have offered Song a three-year deal worth £80,000-a-week.
Wednesday, March 26
Barcelona have stamped a £12 million price-tag on the services of Alex Song, who has failed to make much of an impact in his two seasons with the Catalan club.
Song transferred to Barca from Arsenal just over 18 months ago, but breaking into La Blaugrana's first team has proven difficult for the Cameroonian.
TalkSPORT write that the midfield anchor will be allowed to leave this summer, and United may look to add another box-to-box option to their engine room in the shape of the former Arsenal asset.
Patrice Evra and Darren Fletcher Heading for Old Trafford Exit
Tuesday, March 25
Patrice Evra and Darren Fletcher will reportedly be among some of Manchester United's first casualties this summer, as Moyes looks to enforce a new regime at the Theatre of Dreams.
The Independent's Jack De Menezes notes that Evra, out of contract in the summer, could be close to a switch back to his native France, with Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain interested, while Fletcher may be deemed surplus to requirements by his fellow Scot.
Both players have been a part of the Red Devils' establishment for some years now, and their potential departures are again significant of the fleeting experience that's beginning to leave the squad, piece by piece.
Red Devils 'Have Already Agreed to Sign Two Players'
Tuesday, March 25
Manchester United's summer transfer push may have already gotten underway after reports emerged suggesting that the club have already tied up deals to bring in two unknown assets.
The Guardian (h/t Metro's Jamie Sanderson) say that two players have already agreed to make the move to Old Trafford in the coming months, presumably signalling the beginning of what should be a busy period for the squad.
The report states that the two new arrivals will be announced at the end of the current campaign.
Fabio Coentrao to Be Offered to United for £10 Million
Monday, March 24
Having come close to an Old Trafford switch last summer, Fabio Coentrao may once again emerge as a recruitment option for Manchester United this year.
The Daily Star's Paul Brown says that Real Madrid are willing to cash in on their left-back, and United's need to replace the departing Patrice Evra could put a deal in the works:
United's top left-back target is Southampton's £30m-rated Luke Shaw but Coentrao, 26, is far cheaper at £10m. Real have decided to sell the Portugal defender, who came close to joining United on loan last summer. That move fell through but Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti will now let Coentrao go.
Coentrao has become something of an outcast figure at the Bernabeu, but United may feel there's still some value in his services for a cut-price fee of £10 million.
United Homing in on William Carvalho Signature
Monday, March 24
William Carvalho could become the first signing of Manchester United's summer, with the Daily Mail's Adam Crafton reporting that the club are aware of increased interest in the young midfielder.
However, the deal is made more difficult when considering that Sporting Lisbon's up-and-coming talent has a £37 million release clause in his contract, which is a fee United may not be willing to fork out:
The United hierarchy are wary of paying over the odds but Sportsmail understands that Moyes is convinced of the player's worth after an extensive scouting operation that has seen officials watch the player in excess of 15 times already this season.
As a result, with Moyes keen to conclude this summer's business briskly, United may have to pay the release clause to tie down the signing before Carvalho heads to the World Cup in Brazil.
The fee in discussion is almost identical to that which was paid for club-record signing Mata in January, showing just what kind of faith Moyes has in the player's talent.