David Moyes
Moyes spotted in the crowd during Juventus's win over Cagliari.Reuters

Manchester United manager David Moyes claims his weekend trip to Italy was not a mission to sound out possible January transfers, claiming he was in Sardinia on holiday.

The Scot was photographed along with first team coach Jimmy Lumsden in attendance as Juventus thrashed Cagliari 4-1 on Sunday afternoon, prompting speculation the manager was watching over a number of transfer targets.

On show was Cagliari's Davide Astori who has found himself linked to a number of Premier League clubs over the past six months, including the Premier League champions.

There was also a number of possible candidates representing the Bianconeri as they stretched their lead at the top of Serie A, but Moyes was quoted as saying his trip was strictly pleasure and not business

"I'm here on vacation, no special observations, no market operations," he was quoted as saying by Tutto Sport.

United have also been linked with two Juventus midfielders in Arturo Vidal and Claudio Marchisio as the club seek to reinforce their midfield options after a series of failed moves during the summer window.

Rather conveniently, 27-year-old Marchisio came off the bench to score as Antonio Conte's side enjoyed a fruitful afternoon in front of goal. Chile international Vidal and Paul Pogba, who United are reportedly eager to resign after he left the club in 2012, both started the game, but Italy international Marchisio is likely to be Moyes' most realistic target.

But the Juventus youth product has shown little desire to leave the Serie A champions, and insisted he has "no intention to change" as recently as last month.

"I want to continue winning with this jersey, I have no intention to change," Marchisio told JTV in December.

"But every year, especially in summer, there have been rumours that involved me. In addition to this one, I have another two years on my deal with Juventus.

"I hope to play as long as possible with this jersey, it is not my intention to change."

It was a busy weekend for the United back room team following a 2-0 win over Swansea at Old Trafford. Phil Neville was spotted in attendance as Getafe defeated Rayo Vallecano 1-0 on Sunday morning with 19-year-old Saul Niguez – on loan from Atletico Madrid – thought to be the subject of his attention.

The Spanish press also report that chief scout Robbie Cooke was also in Spain at San Mames where Athletic Bilbao thrashed Almeria 6-1. Long term target Ander Herrera enjoyed one of his best games of the season as he scored and provided an assist in front of United staff, who were also present in Athletic's recent clash with Real Sociedad.