Manchester United remain convinced that they can complete a deal for Cesc Fabregas thanks to his favourable reports from close friend and former team-mate Robin van Persie, according to The Guardian.
Red Devils chief executive Ed Woodward aggressively pursued a move for the Barcelona midfielder and former Arsenal captain last summer, but failed with successive bids hovering just below a £30m valuation United were not prepared to exceed.
Fabregas refused to go public with any desire to leave his boyhood club, but United are prepared to press ahead regardless thanks to Van Persie's insistence that the Spanish playmaker did want a move to Old Trafford last summer.
Van Persie has reportedly acted as an intermediary to establish whether United were wasting their time pursuing the midfield marvel before the start of last season, receiving positive feedback from the Dutch international over their chances of landing a proven Premier League commodity.
Woodward got the same encouraging reports from agents close to the star, although a frustrating protracted transfer chase ultimately came up short.
United have since moved on and completed a club record £37.1m deal for Juan Mata, but that doesn't mean their interest in Fabregas is dead in the water.
Barcelona are back in business in terms of recruitment after having their transfer ban suspended for the summer window by FIFA pending a thorough appeal, which means Fabregas could be replaced if United come calling again at the close of the campaign.
Despite sacking David Moyes on Tuesday the Red Devils are expected to press ahead with wholesale recruitment this summer, regardless of who their new manager will be.
The 26-year-old is under contract until 2016, but after a frustrating campaign for the Catalan giants, in Europe at least, boss Tata Martino and a number of established first-team stars are under fire and could move on at the end of the season.