Manchester United are beginning to sound out their transfer targets as David Moyes looks to conclude some business early on in the window.
While Juan Mata's capture in January provided some comfort to United fans, the inability to capture any of his big-name summer targets has no doubt contributed to the poor season which Moyes now finds himself enduring.
However, some good news could be just around the corner. Let's take a look at some of the rumours making the rounds over the last couple of days.
Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho comes with a hefty price tag of £37 million, but that doesn't appear to have put David Moyes off.
According to the Sunday People, via ESPN, the Scot is keen to land the player before the start of the World Cup.
The report states that the player's agent has already been shown around the Carrington training ground, and Moyes would like the youngster to be the first of five major summer signings, as United go all-out to win back the Premier League trophy that is beyond their grasp this season.
Moyes would do well to ensure the player signs on the dotted line before he stars for Portugal in this summer's tournament. Bruno Miguel Espalha via his scouting report on OutsideOfTheBoot, notes that:
The end of the season might be the best time to make a bid for the talented midfielder.
After the World Cup, his value might be much higher.
The 2013/2014 season is going very well for William, who has already scooped up two Player of the Month Awards for the Portuguese Primeira Liga
If the Scot can conclude the deal, it will be a real statement of intent ahead of the new campaign.
"Things are going very well and I just want to keep focused on what's happening on the field, but when the season is over, I could open up."
"The fans needn't worry. All he said was that he wants to focus on playing football and not waste time talking about other things."
For a player who left United on a free transfer, it doesn't represent good business sense to have to pay through the nose to repatriate him to Old Trafford. However, his influence on Italy's champions-elect has been clear.
The Golden Boy award won in December for the best young player in the world, per Juventus.com, is evidence of his fantastic 2013, and his good form has continued.
Juve manager Antonio Conte has relied on him in the central midfield areas for the full 90 minutes in all but a handful of games, per WhoScored, and six goals in 27 games for the Bianconeri is also a reasonable return.
There's not much doubt Pogba would be a highly prized addition to a new-look Manchester United side.
Bayern Munich's Toni Kroos has found some support from fellow German Michael Ballack, concerning his alleged wage demands which Gappistan Radio put at £300,000 per week:
Per Bild via talkSPORT, Ballack noted:
I think he has been checking out his market value and he will know where he is in the salary structure.
It's important to know you're valued and it is perfectly legitimate that he looks around.
ESPN report that Moyes is confident of striking a deal to bring Kroos to Old Trafford, while Gary Jones of the Daily Star reports on Bayern manager Pep Guardiola's confidence in keeping Kroos in Bavaria:
"I am very optimistic about the possibility for him to stay. I hope that everybody knows what I think about him."
If the Scot can pull the proverbial "rabbit out of the hat" and sign at least one, if not all, of the targets mentioned, then Manchester United fans should look forward to the new season with confidence rather than trepidation.