Fresh from announcing the capture of Shinji Kagawa, Manchester United is said to be eager to move fast to make further additions and overhaul a squad that fell short both at home and in Europe last season.
According to the Daily Mail, next on boss Sir Alex Ferguson's list of targets are Premier League duo Luka Modric and Leighton Baines.
The Scot has long been an admirer of Modric, but took a back seat as Chelsea pursued the Tottenham playmaker last summer before having a £40 million offer rejected. Having missed out on Champions League qualification for the second straight year, Spurs' resolve to hold onto a player who is known to be eager to move will be tested to an even greater degree.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is a notoriously shrewd negotiator, though, and will not budge an inch on the maximum fee he feels he can get for a player. A fact United discovered, ultimately to their cost, in the protracted negotiations to sign Dimitar Berbatov in 2008.
With Ferguson constantly expounding his desire to find value in the market, it may be that he elects to take a risk on relying on the inexperienced Tom Cleverley, despite an injury-ravaged last campaign.
United could also be ultimately frustrated in their reported pursuit of Baines. According to the Manchester Evening News, Ferguson values the Everton left-back at £12 million, a full £8 million less than the Merseysiders.
There has yet to be any indication from the club itself, though, concerning the validity of United's reported interest in Baines. It is claimed that the England international is sought as competition and as an eventual replacement for Patrice Evra. But, at 27, Baines is just four years younger than the experienced Frenchman. It would also be a major surprise should Baines join a club where he would not be first choice.
Reports in the Daily Star claim that it is a different Premier League duo whom United has their eyes on. Namely Fulham's Clint Dempsey and Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote.
U.S. international Dempsey has repeatedly stated that he is eager to move onto a club that can offer Champions League soccer next season, with United, Arsenal as well as Liverpool said to be interested. With just a year left on his contract, Dempsey is in high demand following a season in which he finished as the highest scoring midfielder in the Premier League with 17 goals.
But, given the signing of goal-scoring attacking midfielder Shinji Kagawa and with Nani, Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia already at the club, the Texas-native is unlikely to be pulling on the red of United anytime soon.
Tiote represents more the type of combative midfielder that is needed at Old Trafford. According to the Star, United has told Newcastle that they will not pay over the odds for the Ivorian. Considering Newcaslte owner Mike Ashley sharing Levy's penchant for driving a rock hard bargain, Ferguson may look elsewhere should he deem it necessary to strengthen this area of his team.
In what would potentially be United's most exciting deal of the summer, respected French publication L'Equipe has claimed that United is very hot on Brazilian youngster Lucas Moura. The 19-year-old is already a full international and his club Sao Paulo has reportedly already rejected massive offers from both Chelsea and Inter, while the player's family has also met with Real Madrid officials.
A pacey, tricky winger with a powerful shot, Lucas could potentially be a replacement for Nani, should the Portuguese's contract negotiations continue to stall.
Though that remains an unlikely scenario at this stage.