Manchester United are keeping close tabs on West Ham United's new midfield maestro Alex Song, in in the hope of hijacking their bid to make the Cameroon international's loan move permanent in the summer.
Song has been hugely impressive since joining the Hammers in a season-long loan switch, proving he still cuts the mustard as a top Premier League performer.
United were unconvinced that the Barcelona outcast was worth taking a gamble on last summer, but the Express now believe that Song could provide the dynamism the lack in a holding midfield role and are seriously considering a cut-price bid when the current campaign closes.
West Ham remain confident of securing deal
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce is well aware of United's long-term interest in a man that burst onto the scene with Arsenal as a youngster, benefitting from the time and patience afforded by Gunners boss Arsene Wenger.
Allardyce remains confident that if West Ham can qualify for Europe a lucrative contract offer will be enough to persuade Song his long-term future lies in East London, but if United come calling with a formal offer surely that stance may change.
Van Gaal open to signing Song
Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal is understood to be open the possibility of signing Song, particularly if that relatively cheap addition frees up funds to chase marquee signings elsewhere.
Song is a far more versatile option than he's often given credit for, capable of roaming to have an effect in the final third as well as patrolling in a more withdrawn central role.
A move to United would also allow the 27-year-old to potentially rekindle a relationship with Robin van Persie that blossomed towards the end of his time at the Emirates, with the Dutchman benefitting from what quickly became a trademark scoop pass over the top on a number of occasions.
Barcelona are prepared to let Song leave on the cheap in June and will offer him up to the highest bidder, don't be surprised if United break the hearts of two Premier League clubs by making an astute move for the enforcer when that time comes.
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