Manchester United have had an approximately £13mn bid for German champions Borussia Dortmund's playmaker Shinji Kagawa, according to the Guardian. The Japanese international is being courted by the Red Devils after an impressive time in Germany, following a move from home club Cerezo Osaka in 2010.
The 23 year old has only one year left on his contract with Dortmund and has rejected a new deal. Sir Alex Ferguson was in Berlin to watch the midfielder a fortnight ago when he scored in Dortmund's 5-2 win over Bayern Munich in the DFB-Pokal final. Kagawa had then flown to Manchester last week to meet the Scot and discuss the proposed switch. The report says United increased their initial offer to £12.8mn but Dortmund is believed to be holding out for around £16mn, although the player arrived only for £280,000. Kagawa notched up 17 goals and 10 assists from 44 appearances in all competitions, helping Dortmund to a domestic double.
Meanwhile, United forward Wayne Rooney has revealed the footballer he used to look up to as a youngster was Ajax legend Jari Litmanen. Rooney's favourite position on the field - the second striker - is one Litmanen made popular and the former Everton man has said he has tried to model himself on the Finnish star.
"When I was younger, I used to watch Jari Litmanen when he played for Ajax. I enjoyed how he moved and got into space. He was patient - if you looked at him, he always never looked like he was rushed doing anything. He always used to take his time," Daily Mirror quoted Rooney as saying.
"Then, when the opportunity came, he found the space to get the ball in the net. The more you do it, the more it works. You need to know where everyone is on the pitch. You need to see everything. What people don't realise is that it's obviously a physical game, but after the game, mentally, you're tired as well," the 26 year old added.
Litmanen had spells at Barcelona, Liverpool and Fulham. The 41 year old still plays professional football in his homeland for HJK.