Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson got an up-close look at the man it is speculated will become his first major summer signing, on Saturday. The Scot along with his assistant Mike Phelan were in attendance in the Olympiastadion in Berlin to watch Borussia Dortmud's Shinji Kagawa in action in the DFB Pokal final.
Stories have circulated for weeks that Kagawa is high on the list of potential summer targets for United. And both Ferguson and Phelan making the trip to Germany just 24 hours before United's crucial final match of the season against Sunderland seems highly significant.
If Ferguson had any doubts about Kagawa's quality, they would surely have been dispelled on Saturday. The Japanese international was one of the stars of the show as he scored the opening goal and made key contributions to two more as Dortmund recorded a 5-2 victory over Bayern Munich.
The win secured Dortmund's first league and cup double in their history. Their success this season has been in no small part down to both the assists and goals of Kagawa, who arrived in Germany from Cerezo Osaka for a minimal fee two years ago.
Kagawa has just a year remaining on his contract at the Westfalenstadion and has said he would discuss his future after the cup final. However, all the noises coming out of Dortmund appear to suggest that the 23-year-old will be on his way, with a move to England his clear preference. A fee in the region of £10million-£15 million has been discussed for Kagawa's services, with Arsenal also said to be interested.
United have likely accelerated their interest in Kagawa with the recent suggestions that fellow-transfer target Eden Hazard is set on a move to rivals Manchester City.
United, realistically, need to better City's result at home to Queens Park Rangers in the last game of the season on Sunday to retain their Premier League title.