Manchester United are close to securing a £17.5m ($27m) deal with Lazio for Lucas Biglia, with Louis van Gaal looking to shore up his options in anticipation of a possible title challenge this season, reports the Sun.
The Red Devils have earmarked the midfielder as a replacement for Angel Di Maria, who has left the club to join Paris Saint-Germain this season. The Argentine failed to live up to expectations at Old Trafford and after a record transfer from Real Madrid, was allowed to leave after only a year in the Premier League.
Meanwhile, Sport Mediaset claims that the transfer will depend on United's ability to qualify for the Champions League in the double header qualifier scheduled against Club Brugge late August. The will to leave the club will be exacerbated by Lazio's failure to make it to the group stages. They also have a double header lined up against Bayer Leverkusen on the same weekend.
The Argentine has been handed the captain's armband this season, but he insisted that it does not make it a certainty that he will stay at the club. His recent revelation will be a major boost for United, who are also in the market to sign Barcelona winger Pedro, with the Daily Mail reporting that they are on the verge of activating his £22m ($34m) release clause.
"The fact that he accepted the captain's armband does not mean it will stay definitely. I do not know what will happen next, in football anything can happen, we will see not only depend on me," Biglia said.
United have made five signings thus far this season, bringing in Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Matteo Darmian, Setgio Romero and Memphis Depay, each of who played a part in their 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the opening game of the new season.
Kyle Walker's own goal was the difference between the two sides, as United look to capitalise on Chelsea and Arsenal's morbid start to the campaign, with the Blues drawing 2-2 with Swansea, and the Gunners being handed a shock 2-0 defeat at the Emirates.