Luka Modric
Luka Modric has some of Europe's top clubs watching him as he aims to help Croatia reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2012. Reuters

Manchester United continues to be linked with a move for Luka Modric as they look to strengthen their understrength midfield ahead of the new season.

With Tottenham currently in limbo following the sacking of boss Harry Redknapp, the Manchester Evening News reports that United could take advantage. Unless Spurs get a big name replacement in quick, Modric is unlikely to be convinced that the club is heading in the right direction.

Though, in truth, Modric was always likely to leave this summer with Tottenham failing to secure Champions League qualification for next season. The Croatian playmaker had already made clear his desire to leave last summer.

According to reports, however, United are keen to lower Tottenham's £32 million valuation of the 26-year-old.

United could face competition for Modric's signature however, with the Daily Mail reporting on Monday that it is La Liga champions Real Madrid that are leading the chase. The story claims that Jose Mourinho has made signing Modric a priority; a fact that appears unlikely giving Real's wealth of existing midfield options.

The Manchester Evening News also claims that United are looking to profit from Redknapp's dismissal by targeting another of their stars, Gareth Bale. Reportedly United had not made signing the left-sided player a priority, but if the wide man is unsettled then they are prepared to make a move.

With some of Europe's biggest clubs also looking strongly at Bale, even if Tottenham is prepared to sell, it still appears a long shot that he will wind up at Old Trafford.

United's pursuit of Leighton Baines may also be indirectly aided by Redknapp's sacking, reports the Manchester Evening News. Everton boss David Moyes has been installed as one of the early favorites to step into the hot seat at White Hart Lane, a move that would cause plenty of dissension among the squad at Goodison Park.

Such developments may loosen Everton's resolve to stick to their reported £20 million valuation of the player. A price Sir Alex Ferguson has little intention of United paying.

Baines continues to be linked with a move to Old Trafford to provide competition for established left-back, although there has yet to be any confirmation from either side.

It has been a busy few days for transfer speculation with the Daily Mail alleging that United could also be set for a big-money move for Barcelona starlet Thiago Alcantara.

The 21-year-old had been linked with a move away from the Camp Nou last summer, but, while not a regular, started an impressive 20 games in La Liga last season. Much will depend on how new Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova envisages the midfielder in his future plans. The Mail claims he could be available for £21 million.

Finally, Manchester United has also been linked with a move for Icelandic international Gylfi Sigurdsson. Caught Offside reports, notably with the absence of quotes, that Ferguson is keen to hijack Liverpool's proposed signing of the attacking midfielder.

Sigurdsson spent an impressive second half of the season on loan at Swansea and was expected to make the move permanent. However, Brendan Rodgers' move to take the reins at Anfield has meant that Liverpool now look poised to complete a deal for the 22-year-old.

With Shinji Kagawa already having arrived at Old Trafford, though, a move for Sigurdsson seems highly unlikely.