Manchester United are reportedly ready to challenge Tottenham and Arsenal for Feyenoord midfielder Jordy Clasie. The 21-year-old central player has been compared to Barcelona star Xavi Hernandez and the Express believes he has been rated at £6.5m.
United are believed to be considering Clasie as a long-term replacement for England's Michael Carrick, who turns 32 in the summer. The Dutch youngster's signing will continue the trend of Sir Alex Ferguson targeting youngsters in recent transfer windows, in order to build a pool of talent for the future.
Meanwhile, the Metro earlier reported that both Spurs and Arsenal were also tracking the youngster, who is already a regular first team member at his club. He has two goals from his 11 Eredivisie appearances this season, to add to his three from 19 last campaign.
In addition, Clasie also has experience of European competitions, having played in both legs of his club's 4-2 aggregate loss to Sparta Prague in the qualifiers for the UEFA Europa League. Clasie also has five caps for the Netherlands' senior squad.
Clasie and Arsene Wenger
Interest from the Gunners likely revolves around Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta's future. The former Everton man is on the wrong side of 30 and although he remains a key member of Arsene Wenger's team, a replacement will be needed sooner or later.
Clasie and Andre Villas-Boas
Tottenham's bid for the Dutch youngster may depend on whether manager Andre Villas-Boas remains at White Hart Lane beyond the summer. The former Chelsea boss has been linked with a move to the Santiago Bernabeu and Real Madrid; present coach Jose Mourinho is expected to return to Stamford Bridge.
Clasie and the Champions League
Qualification to the Champions League could also play a part in where Clasie ends up, assuming he does move from Feyenoord. Of the three interested clubs, United are definitely in the Champions League next season. And between the north London rivals, Spurs have the advantage over the Gunners, although it is only a two point lead and the latter do have a game in hand.
Welbeck on Progress
Meanwhile, United striker Danny Welbeck is pleased with his progress this season. The England international is now a regular in the Old Trafford squad and was also part of Roy Hodgson's Euro 2012 campaign.
"The Euros was a really good tournament on a personal level and it gave me a lot of confidence coming into this season. I think my performances have been more consistent [for United]. I haven't always played in my preferred position but playing in different areas allows you to develop an understanding of the other attacking positions which can only benefit you as a player. The one thing I want to do is score more goals," Welbeck told United's official Web site.