Manchester United are poised to make a surprise £12 million move for Queens Park Rangers attacking midfielder Adel Taarabt, according to the Daily Telegraph. The story claims that United have monitored the 23-year-old Moroccan for some time, but could now be poised to launch a bid in the January transfer window.
Taarabt has been something of a mercurial figure throughout his young career. His natural ability has rarely been questioned, but the same cannot be said for his temperament and dedication. After joining Tottenham in 2007, Taarabt moved on loan to QPR in 2009 before completing a permanent move to the then Championship side.
It was in QPR’s promotion season in 2010-2011 that Taarabt enjoyed his finest form as he was voted the Championship player of the season on the back of 19 goals and 16 assists.
A former Lens youth product, Taarabt has enjoyed a good run in the QPR side of late, but it is believed that new boss Harry Redknapp could be tempted to cash in on the player in order to raise funds for his own transfer dealings.
Most effective when given free rein behind a main striker, Taarabt has also been deployed on several occasions on the left of midfield.
The other big transfer news of the day involving Manchester United concerns reported long-time target Kevin Strootman. The PSV Eindhoven midfielder’s agent has told TalkSport that there is foundation to United’s alleged interest in the highly-rated 22-year-old.
“All the top clubs in Europe know about Kevin, but a move to England next summer is his first priority and, yes, Manchester United and other big clubs in Europe have been in touch with me,” Chiel Dekker told TalkSport.
Strootman, a regular international for the Netherlands, has also been strongly linked with Italian giants Milan.
And the Rossoneri are also said to be competing with United for another Dutchman in Wesley Sneijder. On Monday, the Daily Mail claimed that Manchester United’s interest in the Inter attacking midfielder had been reignited after a dispute between the player and his club.
Inter are eager for Sneijder to take a reduction in his hefty wages and have said that the 28-year-old will not feature in the first team until a new contract is agreed. According to TalkSport, however, a potentially shock move to city rivals Inter could be on the cards for Sneijder in January.
There have also been further reports about Manchester United’s interest in Torino center back Angelo Ogbonna. The Italy international is believed to be attracting interest from several big clubs both in the Premier League and Serie A, but the Daily Mirror claims that Sir Alex Ferguson has intensified his interest by sending scouts to watch the 24-year-old twice in recent weeks.
A new defender could well be on the agenda for Ferguson, with doubts currently existing over United’s strength at center back.
Rio Ferdinand is now 34 years old and will be out of contract in the summer while Nemanja Vidic is currently out with his second serious injury in two seasons, leaving the still unproven trio of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans.