Manchester United's first major signing of the summer moved a step nearer to completion on Friday as Shinji Kagawa made a whistle-stop visit to the city to undergo a medical.
No problems are anticipated with the tests and the last remaining hurdle for the £17 million move from Borussia Dortmund to be finalized is for the attacking midfielder to obtain a work permit. Although Kagawa has not appeared in 75 percent of Japan's matches in the past three years, his reputation should make the permit fairly straightforward.
With young starlet Nick Powell also having arrived from Crewe, Sir Alex Ferguson is eager for more signings to lead the club back to glory next season.
Luka Modric has long been identified as a major target, but United is set for a battle with La Liga giants Real Madrid for the Croatian's signature.
The Daily Mail reports that Real coach Jose Mourinho has told the club to secure the playmaker in a £30 million deal. Respected Spanish journalist Guillem Balague confirmed that Manchester United as well as Paris Saint-Germain have made offers, but that Real will meet with Tottenham's and Modirc's representatives next week.
The signs do not look good for United with Modric's reported friend, and former teammate Mate Bilic recently stating that the 26-year-old favored a move to Spain.
According to TalkSport, United could miss out on another reported midfield target in Javi Martinez. The station claims that Bayern Munich is set to snap up the Atletico Madrid star, who can also play in central defense, for in excess of £25 million.
Negotiations look to be ongoing concerning United's pursuit of highly-rated Colombian winger James Rodriguez. The 20-year-old scored 13 league goals for Porto last season and has understandably been tracked by winger-loving Ferguson for some time.
Rodriguez's agent has now admitted that his client's future is currently uncertain.
Really there does not exist any big news about this but it is a subject we need to analyze, Silvio Sandri said, according to O Jogo.
In a couple of weeks I will fly to Portugal and I expect to have a meeting with the Porto directors to discuss the situation.
I cannot offer more details because it is a very complex subject.
Sky Sports reports that Rodriguez has a release clause of £40 million in his contract, but that is not a realistic price for United.
Before France took on England recently at Euro 2012, the English press asked Karim Benzema about his interest in playing in the Premier League. It was subsequently revealed that United had tried to sign the striker on more than once occasion.
There has been similar revelations in recent days from Daniele De Rossi ahead of Italy's quarterfinal with England.
The Roma midfielder suggested an admiration for Premier League football and said he'd received several offers to leave the Italian capital for England in the past.
De Rossi has been linked to United several times over the years, but having recently signed a five-year deal with Roma, the 28-year-old looks set to see out his career in Italy.
It is definitely be a case of what might have been with De Rossi the type of all-action, technically underrated midfielder who could potentially have been the ideal replacement for Roy Keane.