Manchester United manager David Moyes is planning a further scouting trip to Germany this weekend as he considers viable additions to his squad this month, reports suggest.
The Premier League champions have been heavily linked with a £37m move for Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata but Jose Mourinho is unlikely to be tempted into selling a player to a rival half way through the season.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Moyes and his backroom team will take advantage of a free weekend – courtesy of United's third round elimination from the FA Cup to Swansea City – to scout further targets in the Bundesliga in Borussia Monchengladbach attacking midfielder Patrick Herrmann and his teammate Max Kruse.
It is also suggested Moyes will enquire into the availability of Bayern Munich defender Dante, who has also been identified as a possible target for Manchester City this month.
Moyes has reportedly identified Herrmann as a more viable target than Borussia Dormtund star Marco Reus, who is likely to be unavailable until a release clause in his contract is triggered next year.
Monchengladbach have enjoyed a remarkable campaign which has left them sat third in the league, a point ahead of Dortmund. Herrmann's excellent contribution has been a driving factor in their season, as has that of 25-year-old Kruse. The Germany international has already aided his side's cause with eight goals and five assists in 17 Bundesliga appearances.
However, Herrmann is understood to be focal point of Moyes' proposed scouting trip. The 22-year-old has been one of the Bundesliga's brightest talents this season and is pushing hard for a place in Joachim Low's World Cup squad, having represented his country at every level below the senior side thus far.
Moyes and his backroom staff have been frequent fliers across Europe this month. The United boss was pictured alongside first team coach Jimmy Lumsden at a recent Serie A clash between Cagliari and Juventus, while Phil Neville and chief scout Robbie Cooke has been dispatched to Spain in recent weeks, with Antoine Greizmann, Koke and Saul Niguez just some of the names reportedly the subject of their attention.
But in efforts to defuse rampant transfer speculation, Moyes recently insisted his recent excursions were not to assess possible additions to his squad.
"I just enjoy watching football," Moyes told a press conference last Friday. "I want to enjoy watching football all over the world. I try to get to as many games – that's my style.
"I'm not always going to games to sign players – I'm sometimes going just for more knowledge and watching what's going on. So I've done a wee bit of globetrotting over the last few days."