Fabio Coentrao
Fabio Coentrao Reuters

Manchester United have received a big boost in their battle to sign Fabio Coentrao after reports in Spain claim Real Madrid are preparing to sign youngster Alberto Moreno as replacement for the Portuguese left-back.

Coentrao has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford, in the last summer transfer window and during the January window. The Portuguese international was reportedly happy to move to United until manager Carlo Ancelotti blocked the deal as he would then only have Marcelo as his only natural back-up for the role.

But United's hopes of luring Coentrao to Old Trafford in the summer may have received a boost, as according to Spanish newspaper AS Real Madrid have already earmarked Sevilla full-back Alberto Moreno as a replacement for the Portuguese.

Indeed, AS report that Moreno, who has also been linked with Liverpool and Napoli, has already informed his Sevilla teammates that next season he will be playing in Real Madrid colours.

The Spanish international left-back recently renewed his contract with the Andalucia-based team until 2018 with a £25m release clause but AS understands that Real Madrid may secure his services for around £13m.

After selling Fabio da Silva to Cardiff in January and with Patrice Evra set to leave Old Trafford at the end of the season, Manchester United manager David Moyes is desperately looking for a left-back.

Moreno's move to Real Madrid will make Coentrao one of the most affordable targets on the market, especially considering that Leighton Baines recently signed a new deal with Everton and Southampton are not willing to part with Luke Shaw for less than £30m.

Coentrao, 26, has only started five La Liga games this season due to injuries but he is set to make the trip to the World Cup with Portugal.