Manchester United are reportedly planning to steal a march on Premier League rivals Arsenal and Chelsea by hijacking their bids to sign Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin and Borussia Dortmund forward Robert Lewandowski.
Sahin, who made only four league appearances last season, has been told by Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho that he can leave the club on a loan deal. It was believed Arsenal were closing in on a deal for the 23-year-old Turkish international, but Spanish newspaper Marca now claims United are preparing an alternative offer, a more permanent one.
The Spanish champions are understood to be reluctant to part with the player on a permanent basis since both Mourinho and club president Florentino Perez value him highly. The player himself has indicated that he wants to prove himself at the Santiago Bernabeu, but the Metro suggests Sahin may be swayed by the lure of Old Trafford. However, convincing Real Madrid to part with the youngster may be difficult.
The keys could be United's Portuguese winger Nani and Spurs' Croatian playmaker Luka Modric. Both have been linked with Real Madrid, which gives Sir Alex Ferguson and Sahin incentive to talk to each other - Nani's rumoured move will further highlight an already pressing need for midfield reinforcements at Old Trafford and Modric's arrival will push Sahin even further down the pecking order at the Spanish capital. Worse still, as far as United are concerned, is news that Darren Fletcher's career may come to a premature end after the key central midfielder was diagnosed with a chronic bowel problem.
Michael Carrick has shown signs of inconsistency, the highly rated Tom Cleverley still needs time to develop his skills, Anderson is recovering from a long-term injury and the ever dependable Paul Scholes is not getting any younger.
United for Lewandowski
The Red Devils could also be set to pip Chelsea to Dortmund star Robert Lewandowski's signature, according to the Daily Mail. The 23-year-old was understood to be Chelsea's next striker target, after moves for Atletico Madrid's Radamel Falcao, Napoli's Edison Cavani and Porto's Hulk hit a dead end.
The Polish international is one of Europe's hottest properties and was linked with a switch to Old Trafford throughout the summer. An initial offer of around £12m could be forthcoming and the fact that the two clubs - United and Dortmund - have already done business this year (over the transfer of Kagawa) - could help their case.
Ferguson has admitted to being in the market for a striker and was linked to Arsenal's Robin van Persie but the Dutch striker's price tag and wage demands seem to have scared off any interest from Old Trafford.