Premier League champions Manchester United will launch an audacious bid for Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas, according to The Evening Standard.

The former Arsenal captain has been the source of frustration among Barca fans having of late been intrusted with leading the line in the absence of the injured Lionel Messi and the out of form David Villa.

Fabregas did play a vital role in Barcelona's reclaiming of the La Liga title from Real Madrid, with 10 goals and 11 assists for the Catalan giants in Tito Vilanova's first season as manager since replacing Pep Guardiola.

However, questions remain over whether Fabregas can sustain his impressive form while continuing to be played out of his favoured midfield role, with Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Sergio Busquests remaining unmoved.

Cesc Fabregas
Fabregas has enjoyed an up and down spell at Barcelona since leaving Arsenal in 2011.

When questioned regarding his future at the Nou Camp last week, Fabregas insisted he will remain in Spain, but a succession of poor performances, particularly in the 7-0 aggregate defeat in the Champions League semi-final to Bayern Munich, has raised concerns over his future.

Having claimed a record 20th league title, United are looking to strengthen ahead of the new campaign, having been knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid at the last 16 stage.

Sir Alex Ferguson will depart United after over 26 years at the helm at Old Trafford and be replaced by David Moyes from Everton.

And Fabregas could represent the first addition of his tenure in charge of United, to assist in bolstering a midfield which will be without Paul Scholes, who has confirmed his retirement for a second time at the end of the season.

While Fabregas' departure from Arsenal in 2011 was bathed in emotion on the part of the Spanish international, as he returned to the scene of his footballing upbringing, a move to United would signal a change in his relationship with the Gunners support, who have longed for his return.

Arsenal are understood to have first option on re-signing their former skipper, but United, keen to make a marque additional to open Moyes' tenure at the Theatre of Dreams, are willing to break the bank for Fabregas, who joined Barcelona two years ago for £35m.