Although it now seems simply a matter of time before they seal their 20th league title, Manchester United continue to be linked with a number of players as Sir Alex Ferguson looks to improve his squad for further triumphs next season.
One man who has been linked over the weekend as a possible addition to United's squad is Fulham's Clint Dempsey. The American scored twice on Saturday to take his tally for the season to 21 goals in all competitions and has since been linked with a host of top clubs, including United, according to the Sun.
And speculation is mounting that the 29-year-old will look to move in the summer iun order to experience Champions League soccer next summer.
I still have this season and one more at the club, he said according to the Sun. I'm talking with Fulham but we'll see in the summer.
I just want to focus on my football and helping the club finish in the top half. That other stuff can take care of itself.
It ishard to see where Dempsey would fit into United lineup, though, and his signing would also go against the club's policy of wanting to sign players under the age of 27.
Someone who might be a more natural fit at Old Trafford it long-time rumored target, James Rodriguez. Dubbed the Colombian Cristiano Ronaldo, the Porto winger has talked in the past few days of the tempting prospect that a move to Old Trafford would present.
I am only focused on Porto at the moment but I could not reject the chance to play for Manchester United, Rodriguez told Colombian newspaper Nuevo Estadio, according to the Metro. It would please me.
A move for Rodriguez would make sense for United. As a natural left-footer he could add some balance to the Red Devils' attack. While Ashley Young has come back into form of late, after a mid-season dip, he can occasionally become predictable continually cutting inside on his right foot. There also remain doubts about Young's ability to make an impact against the very best in Europe.
Rodriguez, 20, has made a big impact this season at Porto, leading the club's scoring charts with 12 goals in just 12 starts.
One young creative player that it appears won't be making his way to Old Trafford come the summer is Danish prodigy Christian Eriksen. The 20-year-old playmaker has claimed that he is happy to remain at Ajax for the time being.
I think that I'm still developing here at Ajax and that the regular playing time that I am getting is making me better and better, Eriksen said, according to the Daily Mirror.
I don't see the need for a move at the moment. I feel very much at home here and there is plenty I can still learn.
With a move for Eriksen seeming unlikely, it is also being speculated that United hold an interest in Rayo Vallecano attacking midfielder Michu.
The 26-year-old Spaniard has reportedly been watched several times by United scouts, with impressive reports making their way back to Ferguson, according to Caught Offside.
Michu is certainly lower-profile, and likely a lot less costly, than the likes of Wesley Sneijder, Eden Hazard and Nicolas Gaitan, who United have been linked with in the past year. Yet one thing the former Celta Vigo man would likely bring to Old Trafford is goals from the midfield, with Michu currently top scorer for his club with 15 goals in La Liga.
While United have mainly been linked with offensive players in recent times, Ferguson has reportedly spoken highly of young Blackburn center-back Grant Hanley. The United boss apparently made the comments to Blackburn manager Steve Kean after the clubs' Premier League encounter last week.
He was very complimentary about Grant, said Kean of Ferguson, according to the Sun. He thinks he's good enough to play for Scotland for the next 10 to 15 years, and I agree.
I hope Fergie's not going to be putting a bid in. I said that to him.
With Jonny Evans performing increasingly well of late alongside Rio Ferdinanad and with fellow young center-backs Phil Jones and Chris Smalling at the club, not to mention the currently injured Nemanja Vidic, Kean likely won't be getting any call from Ferguson about Hanley anytime soon.
In another somewhat unlikely transfer, United have been linked in the past few days with a move for Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar. The 32-year-old current Inter No. 1 is reportedly a major target for Ferguson this summer, as reported by Gazzetta dello Sport, according to the official Manchester United website.
A deal of this type for an experienced goalkeeper would have made sense earlier in the season when David de Gea was struggling to adapt to life at the club and in the Premier League. But the young Spaniard has been excellent in recent times and bringing in a keeper of Julio Cesar's pedigree would doubtless dent the confidence of the former Atletico Madrid man.
It would also be a surprise if Julio Cesar were willing to leave Inter without a guarantee of first-team soccer.