Manchester United remain interested in Pachuca midfielder Hector Herrera, according to club president Jesus Martinez. As reported by Mexican publication Tiro Libre, Martinez has claimed that United, Porto and “an important team in France,” are all monitoring the 22-year-old’s progress.

The quotes contradict reports from earlier in the week in Mexico which suggested that Porto had already agreed on a deal for the man nicknamed the “skunk.”

Herrera was strongly linked with a move to United in August, after a summer in which he had helped Mexico to claim the gold medal in the London Olympics. He has since gone on to make his debut for the full national side.

New Pachuca coach Gabriel Caballero has claimed that the club will not stand in the way of Herrera’s progress.

“What you have to think of is the benefit of the player, of his future, his projection, his illusions,” he said, according to Goal.com.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has said that there will be no arrivals in January but, with Real Madrid now on the horizon in the Champions League, he may yet be tempted to strengthen. The central midfield position is thought by many to be one that United need to reinforce.

The Daily Mirror have reported that United are set to vie with rivals Manchester City for Shakhtar Donetsk’s Fernandinho.  Earlier this month, the 27-year-old was reported to have said that he will be playing in Manchester in January.

Manchester City were thought to be poised to sign the £16.5-million-rated Brazil international, but United have now stepped up their interest, according to the Mirror.

A holding midfielder with the ability to go forward, Fernandinho has been a big part of Shakhtar’s success that sees them into the knockout phase of the Champions League. That, of course, makes Fernandinho cup-tied for the Champions League, a fact which may count against a move in January.

According to the Daily Mail, the two Manchester clubs are also set to go head-to-head over 15-year-old Italian defender Giorgio Piacentini. The Italy Under-16 international has yet to sign a professional contact with Italian third-tier side AlbinoLeffe.

Manchester United fans can likely forget about signing Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema any time soon. The France international has previously claimed that Ferguson has repeatedly attempted to procure him since his days with Lyon.

However, Benzema has stated that he is happy to remain in Madrid, despite continued speculation over his future.

“I know nothing of this,” he said, according to TalkSport.

"I feel very good at Real Madrid and that is where I want to be. It's the greatest team in the world and our story is not over."