Mario Gotze
Mario Gotze REUTERS

Manchester United face a fight from Spain to get hold of long-standing target Mario Gotze, with the playmaker reportedly admitting that he would prefer to move to La Liga than England.

Gotze has starred for Borussia Dortmund, and as a result has found the attentions of numerous top European clubs.

The playmaker has continually insisted that he will not leave Germany for the next season at least, but with Manchester United and the likes of Arsenal, Real Madrid and Inter Milan chasing the starlet, a move next summer could be likely as he seeks a club that can challenge for the Champions League trophy.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson admitted last week that the club are keeping watch over a range of long-term targets, but none of those look likely to be available in the January transfer window.

But according to German paper Bild, Gotze has insisted that he wants to make a move to Spain, with Real Madrid looking a more likely destination for the £30 million-rated midfielder.

United are on the lookout for a midfielder, and Christian Eriksen and Nicolas Gaitan have also been linked with the club on numerous occasions. While summer target Wesley Sneijder is still being connected to Ferguson, the playmaker would seem an unrealistic target, with his transfer fee of £35 million and wage demands of £200,000 per week.

Building injuries have meant that the club are also in the market for a defensive signing, particularly after Phil Jones came off the pitch last night against Fulham with a facial injury.

While Gotze might prefer a move to La Liga, if Real Madrid are unwilling to fork out his transfer fee, a move to United could be back on the cards.

But Ferguson is not a manager known for getting involved in transfer tussles, and Arsenal also said to be particularly keen on Gotze, meaning the United manager may bow out and move on to another less coveted target.