Cesc Fabregas
Manchester United make an offer of €30m for Cesc Fabregas. [Reuters] Reuters

Manchester United have made a shock approach for Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas as new manager David Moyes looks to find a suitable replacement for the recently retired Paul Scholes.

Fabregas has repeatedly made it clear that he would like to remain at Barcelona despite struggling to convince Tito Vilanova that he deserves a regular place in his favoured position in central midfield.

The 26 year old returned to his hometown club in the summer of 2011 but has struggled to displace Andres Iniesta or Xavi, and has often been asked to play in a front three or even as a central striker.

Manchester United were heavily linked with a move for Thiago Alcantara but the highly-rated midfielder decided to leave Barcelona in order to be reunited with his former boss Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich.

Moyes claimed that there was never ever concrete interest in Thiago and it now seems as though this is because United were putting together a deal for Fabregas.

Spanish newspaper AS reports that United have made an offer of €30m to Barcelona for the former Arsenal captain after Moyes decided he needed a midfielder with experience of playing in the Premier League.

United have been linked with Fabregas for much of this summer but this is the first time that there has been a report of an offer from the English champions.

The Spain international signed a five-year contract when he returned to the Camp Nou two summers ago and it was reported that he had a buyout clause of €200m inserted in his contract.

Much will now depend on whether Barcelona boss Vilanova sees the midfielder as being an essential part of the first team. He did make 32 appearances in the league last season and score 11 goals, but with Neymar having arrived it will provide even more competition for Fabregas.

Should United be successful in their pursuit of Fabregas then it would be a bitter pill for Arsenal fans to swallow having already seen Robin van Persie enjoy huge success in his first season at Old Trafford.