Manchester United are considering a shock move in signing Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen, according to the Mirror.

The Red Devils are hoping to bolster their central midfield position and their new manager Louis van Gaal has set his sights on the Reds midfielder. The Dutchman wants United to make a £20m bid for the former Swansea City star and bring him to Old Trafford before the deadline day.

United scouts were in the stands at the Etihad during Liverpool's 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Premier League champions Manchester City on Monday. Allen was also watched by van Gaal during Wales' 2-0 defeat to Netherlands in Amsterdam earlier in June.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager is believed to be impressed with the Welsh international's performance. He is now hoping to add Allen to United's squad in order to solve his side's midfield crisis.

The Red Devils' manager is struggling during the team selection to pick two central midfielders, especially with key players on the treatment table. Michael Carrick is out of action till September after picking up an injury during training in July. In addition to this, summer signing Ander Herrera is also on the sidelines.

The Dutchman fielded Darren Fletcher and Tom Cleverley during the 1-1 draw to Sunderland. He used Anderson and Nick Powell during their embarrassing 4-0 defeat at the hands of MK Dons in the second round of the Capital One Cup.

Allen played a bit part role for Brendan Rodgers' side and his future at the Merseyside club remains uncertain, according to the Mirror.

It is very unlikely that Liverpool would allow one of their players join their arch-rivals. The 24-year-old has two years left on his contract and Rodgers is likely to keep hold of Allen beyond this summer as Liverpool are competing on all fronts this campaign.