Manchester United will make an approach for Newcastle United midfielder Yohan Cabaye in the summer. The Frenchman is believed to be the long-term replacement for veteran ex-England international Paul Scholes, who is 38 years old.
Scholes is recovering from a knee injury and is expected to return to first team training soon. However, the midfielder has not played since January and has delayed signing a 12-month extension to his contract. Sir Alex Ferguson has been quoted as saying he is very appreciative of his star's experience and intelligence in midfield and that he "deserves to be in the team".
The Mirror states Sir Alex Ferguson sent his brother, Martin Ferguson, to scout the 27-year-old during the Magpies' 1-1 draw with SL Benfica, during a Europa League tie. Alan Pardew's men were eliminated 4-2, on aggregate, by the Portuguese club, at the quarter final stage.
Cabaye has made 29 appearances, in all competitions, this season, with six goals and two assists to his name. The French international has had an injury-troubled campaign but remains high up on the Old Trafford club's list of wanted players.
The St James' Park club signed Cabaye from Ligue 1 club OSC Lille in 2011, for a reported £4.3m. His contract with the club runs to 2016 and it is believed Newcastle will ask for £20m to release him to the Premier League leaders.
However, United will have to move fast if they want their man because rivals Arsenal have also been linked to Cabaye and the historically strong French flavour to Arsene Wenger's Emirates squad may persuade the midfielder to opt for north London over Manchester.
Newcastle slumped to a disappointing 0-3 defeat in the Tyne-Wear derby on Sunday. Cabaye started the game but was replaced, shortly after the hour mark, by compatriot Hatem Ben Arfa.
RVP on Goal against Stoke
Meanwhile, United striker Robin van Persie ended an unseasonably long goal drought by converting a penalty against Stoke. SAF's men increased their stranglehold over this season's league championship by easing to a 2-0 win at the Britannia Stadium.
"I had to score that one and thankfully it went in, and after that the relief of a couple of weeks came out, I would say. I wanted to celebrate with everyone... because they've been great to me from day one. Even when sometimes it is a little bit harder, they still believe in me," the Dutch international explained after the match.