Manchester United are again at the eye of the transfer gossip storm but for once mega-bucks manoeuvres are not wholly the order of the day.
Instead the Red Devils are understood to be keen on bringing in talent previously deemed surplus to requirements for two of their main Premier League title rivals.
First up is Wolfsburg’s Belgian international attacking midfielder Kevin de Bruyne.
The 23-year-old failed to endear himself to Jose Mourinho in two years on Chelsea’s books, but a move to Wolfsburg has seen him flourish to the point where he is blipping on the United radar.
De Bruyne has hit ten assists in 17 Bundesliga games this season, with nine coming in 14 games when played as a number ten.
Wolfsburg boss Dieter Hecking acknowledged the Reds’ interest, with the German quoted in the Express as suggesting:
“It is normal that clubs like Manchester United deal with top people.
“This is recognition of his and our work.”
The second of their rivals’ rejects the Red Devils plan on rejuvenating plies his trade at the opposite end of the footballing spectrum from the bright lights of the Bundesliga.
Sadiq El Fitouri had been on a professional deal with Manchester City until last year when the 20-year-old right back was released.
Having joined up with Paul Scholes and Phil Neville’s Salford City in the meantime, he impressed the Class of ’92 pair to the extent that they recommended him for a trial with United.
Now the Daily Mail reports him to have shone in a match between Louis van Gaal’s fringe senior players and the Under-21s, a match that also featured Adnan Januzaj, Darren Fletcher and Victor Valdes.
It’s thought El Fitouri’s endeavours have earned him the chance to subject himself to further scrutiny in the coming days and weeks.
Finally ESPN sources have revealed the Reds to have been keeping tabs on Dynamo Kiev centre-half Aleksandar Dragovic.
The Premier League is understood to be a big lure for the Austrian, although Arsenal and West Ham are also thought to retain an interest.