English champions Manchester United are reportedly monitoring Argentine Primera Division club Independiente's attacking midfielder Patricio Rodriguez. The Old Trafford outfit are apparent frontrunners in bringing the player to Old Trafford.

Rodriguez, 21, who has attracted a host of European club over the week, has been scouted by United six times in the last three months. However, despite the English club's strong claim, they are expected to face competition from Portuguese club Benfica, who have identified Rodriguez as a potential replacement for fellow Argentine Nicolas Gaitan. Incidentally, Gaitan has also been linked with United.

The young midfielder (Independiente's) will be tasked with, should he transfer to Manchester, bringing creativity to an increasingly prosaic United set-up, with the likes of Anderson, Tom Cleverley and Darren Fletcher missing. The transfer should give the team some hope of challenging current league leaders and local rivals Manchester City and win their 20th domestic title.

The player has been valued at £15 million by his current club and has also been targeted by Italian club Udinese and French team Marseille, according to a Daily Mail report.

Patricio Julian Rodriguez, also known as 'Patito' (the little duck), started his senior football career with Independiente in 2008 and has made more than 60 appearances for the club.