Former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen has called on David Moyes to fight hard to sign Ilkay Gundogan in the January transfer window despite reports claiming the midfielder is closing in on a deal with Real Madrid.
Multiple publications said last week that Gundogan signed a pre-contract agreement with Madrid but his father has since denied such reports, insisting that the 23 year old could stay at Borussia Dortmund amidst interest from a host of European clubs.
Currently sidelined with a back injury and given a comeback date of at least early 2014, Gundogan's contract with Dortmund runs out in 2015 and Madrid are believed to be in the market for a long term replacement for Xabi Alonso, who turns 32 this month.
But with United currently on the lookout for a midfielder - the side had bids rejected for Thiago Alcantara and Cesc Fabregas in the summer - Meulensteen believes that Gundogan is the perfect target.
When asked in a Twitter question and answer which midfielder he thought United currently need, Meulensteen replied: "Ilkay Gundogan."
The Dutch coach left United as David Moyes came into the fray in the summer and briefly managed Anzhi Makhachkala. He is currently out of work as he assesses his options and has been very vocal over his dissatisfaction with not being given a chance to work alongside Moyes in the backroom team at Old Trafford.
And on the back of a disappointing summer transfer window in which United were only able to land Marouane Fellaini it would certainly be a massive coup to be able to tempt Gundogan away from Dortmund.
Currently, Jurgen Klopp's men face the possibility of being ousted from the Champions League group stages on the back of making the final in the season before and as Gundogan looks at his options he may feel that the German club have come as far as possible, with Mario Gotze already departing for rivals Bayern Munich and Robert Lewandowski planning an exit next summer.