Inter Milan playmaker Wesley Sneijder has emerged as the most likely replacement for Paul Scholes as Manchester United step up their search for a successor.
The Daily Telegraph reports how the 27-year-old Dutch international is keen to move to Old Trafford this summer, after a potential deal for Samir Nasri looks to be dead in the water.
Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson is keen to find a new creative heartbeat following the recent retirement of Scholes – a pivotal part of Manchester United’s squad for well over a decade.
And having come into problems convincing Arsenal to part with Nasri, Ferguson has now turned his attention back to Italy in an attempt to engineer a deal for Sneijder.
The Milan midfielder will this week meet Inter owner Massimo Moratti to discuss his future at the club's pre-season retreat at Pinzolo.
Sneijder has previously revealed he would be willing to leave the San Siro, but only for a club of similar stature – a bill that Manchester United would fit, having just claimed their 19th domestic title, and reaching the final of last season's Champions League.
The player would likely command substancial wages, with some suggesting as much as £200,000 per week in order to make up for the tax rates in this country.
But once Ferguson has identified his target, there is often little to stop Manchester United from pursuing their interest in a player who could link up with the squad at Old Trafford before the start of the new season.