After months of speculation linking Manchester United with in-demand Lille star Eden Hazard, first-team coach Rene Meulensteen has confirmed the club's interest.
The manager wanted to see Hazard, Meulensteen told Voetbal International, according to ESPN Soccernet. That shows that he thinks he's an interesting player. We've spoken a lot about him.
It's important for a club to keep refreshing the squad. Hazard is a special talent, but concluding these things always takes a while. For example, we were tracking David de Gea for a long time before we signed him.
Ferguson wants to know the player's character, and because of that he makes personal trips to watch them. Hazard is the main man at Lille and so Ferguson wanted to see if that had had an influence on him.
Hazard would undoubtedly be an exciting signing for the Premier League leaders' fans, but United will have to beat off competition from a host of Europe's top clubs to seal the signature of the Belgian 21-year-old. Hazard has, however, said that he favors a move to the Premier League.
Another offensive midfielder linked to Manchester United in recent times is Danish wonderkid Christian Eriksen. The 20-year-old Ajax star looks unlikely to be making his way to Old Trafford this summer, though, with Meulensteen claiming in the same interview that the club have not discussed his signature.
And, according to Meulensteen, the same is true of Dutch defensive midfielder Kevin Strootman. The British press was ablaze with headlines linking the PSV Eindhoven 22-year-old, whom they dubbed the new Roy Keane, with a summer move to Old Trafford last week, but Meulensteen says he is not on the agenda behind the scenes.
The name Strootman is internally never discussed, Meulensteen said, according to Sky Sports.
We follow every young player with potential. The same is true for example with Christian [Eriksen]. I don't have a very clear picture of Strootman as a player. In England, some media call him 'the new Roy Keane' but that seems like nonsense to me.
In a busy few days for transfer news at Old Trafford, the Daily Mirror has reported that highly-rated Brazilian teenager Adryan turned down a move to Manchester United last summer.
Manchester United actually spoke and showed interest, but it was not something that interested me at the moment, Adryan told Globo Esporte, according to the Daily Mirror.
We shall see later when it appears the proper place so that I can participate and be important.
And the 17-year-old Flamengo prospect is not the only player to have claimed in the past couple of days he was wanted at Old Trafford.
Auxerre midfielder Alain Traore has told Ligue1.com that Sir Alex Ferguson wanted to sign the Burkina Faso international after a trial he had with the club when he was 17.
It went well and Sir Alex said he wanted to keep me, but it was impossible to get a work permit. He suggested that I go to a Belgian club initially, but I also had the chance to play for Auxerre, Traore said, according to Goal.com.
I'll never forget the discussion I had with Ferguson in his office. He had a picture of David Beckham with some other stars celebrating with a trophy. He said if I worked hard enough, I could have the same success as Beckham.
One midfielder who is reportedly currently interesting Ferguson is FC Twente's Nacer Chadli. The 23-year-old Belgium international winger has been linked with a move to Old Trafford by Dutch publication Voetbal Info..
Finally, one rumor that appears to have come out of left-field concerns the club's reported interest in Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. Belgium website Footgoal.net has claimed that United are considering a move for the Belgium international come the summer, according to the official Manchester United website.
Such a move would be a huge surprise, though, given that David de Gea has been in excellent form of late and it is hard to envisage Mignolet joining a club where he would not be first-choice.