Barring a dramatic upset in Sunday's final round of fixtures, it appears that Manchester United's Premier League title will be heading across Manchester to rivals City. And now it seems that United will also miss out on one of their prime summer targets to their noisy neighbors.
ESPN Soccernet reports on Tuesday that much-coveted Lille star Eden Hazard has given the strongest indication yet that he will sign for Manchester City ahead of next season.
The Belgium international reportedly told Canal+ that It's the blue that I'll be wearing next season. Definitely the blue. The comment was made in response to a question of whether Hazard preferred red or blue.
The 21-year-old attacking midfielder has previously admitted he favors a move to the Premier League with a host of top clubs interested. Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson took the trip over to France to watch Hazard in action earlier in the year, and claimed to be impressed with what he witnessed.
If Hazard does move to the blue half of Manchester, it would come as the latest blow to United as they look to compete with the virtually endless finances available at the Etihad.
That slight would be tempered, however, if United were able to pick-up Borussia Dortmund star Shinji Kagawa. The Japanese international has been strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford, but it appears talks of a done deal may have been premature.
Quotes recently attributed to Kagawa, where he reportedly claimed to have already agreed to join United appear to have been fake. And the player's agent Thomas Kroth has told German newspaper Bild that Nothing is decided yet.
After some less than impressive defensive displays this season, notably in the potentially critical 4-4 draw with Everton, United may also be looking to strengthen that area of their squad during the close season.The Daily Mirror is reporting that Ferguson has made a late entry into the race to sign Ajax captain Jan Vertonghen.
The center-back was widely expected to be moving to North London in the summer with Tottenham and Arsenal strongly linked to the 25-year-old. Indeed, Vertonghen recently confirmed Spurs' interest, while leaving the door open for other bidders.
I have to make a choice, he said, according to the Mirror. There's something going on with Tottenham, but there are more clubs interested in signing me.
Vertonghen will likely be available for a relatively low fee, with just a year remaining on his contract with the newly-crowned Dutch champions.
Unlikely to be available on such favorable terms is young Porto sensation James Rodriguez. The exciting Colombian winger's agent Silvio Sandi has confirmed that United are one of the team's pursuing his 20-year-old client.
Manchester United is indeed one of the teams interested, he told Maisfutebol, according to Tribal Football. But at this moment, nothing has been decided.