Sir Alex Ferguson is weighing up a move to bring Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard to Manchester United next summer, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The 34-year-old will be out of contract at the end of the season and Lampard’s agent recently revealed that Chelsea have confirmed to him that he will not be offered a new deal. That would mean United being able to secure Lampard on a free transfer.
The Telegraph reports that the scenario would be an attractive one for Ferguson, who has long been keen on the England international. It is also believed that, while Lampard wishes to remain at Chelsea, a move to Old Trafford would appeal.
The Los Angeles Galaxy are also widely believed to be keen to secure Lampard as a designated player to replace David Beckham. The Major League Soccer side would have an advantage in that as a foreign club they are now free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with Lampard.
The former West Ham man would add to the veteran nature of United’s midfield, joining 38-year-old
Paul Scholes and 39-year-old Ryan Giggs. Scholes has yet to agree to extend his career beyond this season, however.
While Lampard may be a shrewd addition, his signing would not placate the need that many see for a more dynamic midfield presence. The same is true of attacking midfielder Wesley Sneijder, with whom Manchester United continue to be linked.
The Internazionale man is widely thought to be on the move this month having been frozen out of the first team in Milan following a contract dispute.
United tried to sign the Netherlands international in the summer of 2011and it has been mooted that they could try to secure him in a cut-price move this month.
Sneijder’s agent Soren Lerby has said that a transfer to the Premier League would appeal to the 28-year-old.
“The Premier League is the top league in Europe, so of course it would appeal, but Wes would want to play for a top team,” Lerby revealed to BBC Sport on the back of speculation linking Sneijder with Queens Park Rangers.
“This is a very, very strange situation for all of us,” he added. “It's not right that a footballer of this caliber is not playing, and that the crowds are not able to watch him.
"Wes just loves to play football and we need to find a solution."
United may have to move fast, however, with Galatasaray president Unal Aysal revealing that he is in negotiations with his counterpart at Inter, Massimo Moratti, about a deal for Sniejder.
Galatasaray are also in the news with renewed speculation about United’s interest in the Turkish club’s goalkeeper Fernando Muslera. The latest report comes on the back of talk that Ferguson is seeking to replace David de Gea in the United goal.
Muslera, 26, was first linked to United after he impressed against them at Old Trafford in the Champions League earlier this season. A £14 million offer has now been tabled for the Uruguay international, according to Turkish publication Milliyet.
Liverpool’s Pepe Reina and Stoke’s Asmir Begovic have also been named as targets for United.
According to that Daily Mail, Manchester United remain favorites to sign in-demand Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, despite Tottenham having begun negotiations for the 20-year-old.
Bidding for the England international will start at £7 million states the report, although Zaha is likely to go for a significantly higher fee. Palace are also believed to want loan players included in any deal, while they would also seek to have Zaha remain at Palace until the end of the season.
It is believed that Ferguson is determined to secure Zaha and will contact him personally in an attempt to persuade the starlet that his future would be best served at Old Trafford.