Talk of deals for Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera and AS Roma stalwart Daniele De Rossi are intensifying, with Manchester United preparing a £40million swoop for the pair, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The Red Devils have been left disappointed in their search for midfield reinforcements with early July target Thiago Alcantara eventually opting to join former manager Pep Guardiola at European powerhouses Bayern Munich.
A move for another Barcelona player - Cesc Fabregas failed to come to fruition with the Spaniard choosing instead to remain at Camp Nou. United failed in bring the former Arsenal man to Old Trafford, seeing three bids knocked back, while Fabregas later declared his wish to remain at Barcelona.
Everton's Marouane Fellaini is still on Manchester United's radar, with David Moyes actually targeting three midfielders he clearly considers lightweight. The reigning champions recently failed with a bid for the Belgian, with Everton branding the offer 'insulting and derisory'. A bid that also included left-back Leighton Baines.
Herrera would offer leadership and a combative nature to an otherwise frail and passive midfield, while also possessing great technical ability and drive from midfield.
United have already seen a bid knocked back for the player, with the bid reported at 30 million euros, despite Bilbao only willing to negotiate if Herrera's buy-out clause of 36 million euros is met, which United are said to be bidding.
Roma's De Rossi might be a little harder to acquire with the player being a long-standing fan and servant of the Italian club he may wish to remain in Rome. The Italy international endured a disappointing campaign in 2012/13, which saw him frequently out of the first eleven and at 30 years old it might be thought that the player is regressing.
Moyes wants to add those two players to United's midfield along with Marouane Fellaini, overseeing a major reconstruction of United's midfield. While Uruguay U21 international Guillhermo Varela is the sole signing to date, United are confident of completing deals for some of the following; Herrera, Fellaini, De Rossi and Baines over the coming days.
Meanwhile, Moyes is said to be impressed by the attitude and condition of the much speculated Wayne Rooney, saying: “When we came back [this summer], he wasn’t a bad lad.
“He was getting on with his work and, mentally, I felt he was in a pretty good place. I saw him training every day and thought he was getting himself in a good condition and he really is.
“For all the stuff that was supposed to have happened, that was supposed to have been, I’ve never had a minute’s problem with him.
“I think the [defining] factor was Manchester United saying they weren’t going to sell him. I think when he realised that, he knuckled down. Sometimes a little bit of a change can change people and hopefully Wayne is going to try to get back to the way we know everybody knows he can play.
“I’m really keen on getting him focused now on the goals, getting him on the goal-sheet and that will help him as well. I do think there is a situation where Wayne could go on to emulate some of the greats at Manchester United with the goals he can score.”
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