Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson sent his most trusted scout, his brother Martin, to Spain earlier this week in order to watch Rayo Vallecano striker Leo Baptistao.

Talksport has reported that the younger Ferguson, who works as United's chief European scout, attended Vallecano's 3-1 victory over Getafe on Monday night in order to compile a report on the young Brazilian forward.

Sir Alex Ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson asked his brother to check on the progress of young striker Leo Baptistao [Reuters]

Baptistao failed to get his name on the scoresheet but did provide an assist for the third goal in the Madrid derby as Vallecano impressed once again to move up to seventh place.

The 20-year-old moved to Spain four years ago and joined Vallecano's youth system. He has since progressed through the ranks and after one year in the B Team he has firmly established himself as a member of the first team this season.

He has scored six goals in his 16 league appearances this season and has been asked to play a lone forward role by manager Paco Jemez who has shown a lot of faith in the young striker.

It is believed that Manchester United would be interested in bringing the forward to the Premier League as they know that they could pick him up for as little as £1.6million.

Ferguson is certainly not short of options in attack but Baptistao is very much viewed as a good prospect who will further develop over time.

With Angelo Henriquez, another young forward signing by United in the summer, going on-loan to Wigan for the rest of the season there could be room in the squad if Ferguson wants to sign the striker during the current transfer window.

However, it may be that they continue to monitor the progress of the striker over the rest of the season as this is his first campaign playing regular first team football.

Manchester United have increasingly been signing the best young talent and last summer managed to being Nick Powell, Alexander Buttner and Henriquez to the club.