Manchester United are reportedly keen to secure a return to the club for Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, as Sir Alex Ferguson makes plans for the summer transfer window.

United had enjoyed an eight point lead over Manchester City barely four weeks ago but look to have relinquished their league title, and Ferguson is keen to bolster his exhausted ranks this summer.

Centre-back has been a particular position of concern of Ferguson this term, with injury ending Nemanja Vidic's campaign last December and Rio Ferdinand struggling for fitness over the course of the season.

Jonny Evans has been impressive when performing in the stead of Ferguson's first choice pairing, but Chris Smalling highlighted his inexperience in Monday's pivotal loss in the Manchester derby.

According to the Daily Star, failings in the centre of defence have led Ferguson to target Pique, who left Old Trafford for the Nou Camp four years ago.

The 25-year-old Spain international has won two Champions League finals and three Liga titles since his return to Catalonia, although has struggled for form this season.

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