Manchester United are reportedly interested in French centre back Kurt Zouma and are hoping a charm offensive, led by Sir Alex Ferguson himself, will convince the 18 year old St Etienne youngster to sign for the Old Trafford club. Zouma, a France U19 international, has also drawn interest from United's local rivals, Manchester City.
The Mirror reports United have invited the teenager to Manchester to watch his potential team mates in action and tour the club's facilities. If the report is true, then Zouma could be in attendance when the Red Devils face West Ham United on Wednesday evening.
Zouma is rated at £9m and has a contract till the summer of 2016. Furthermore, given the Ligue 1 club is enjoying a good start to the season - they are third in the league with 25 points from 14 games, only one behind league leaders Paris St Germain (PSG) - it is unlikely manager Christophe Galtier will want Zouma to leave.
Meanwhile, United will be desperate to sign a youngster touted as a future top-class player, particularly before other top clubs are alerted to his abilities. The Red Devils will also have one eye on the aging central defensive pair of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. While the Englishman and the Serbian were, in their prime, one of the best partnerships in the business, they are now both well on the wrong side of the 30s and in the twilight of their careers.
Ferguson does have youngsters Chris Smalling and Phil Jones for the future but the addition of a third centre back, for both competition and squad strength, can only be good news... if the transfer is successful.
In other United news, 18 year old Chilean striker Angelo Henriquez is in danger of becoming a forgotten man at Old Trafford. The highly-rated forward signed for the Premier League club in the summer.
However, with the likes of Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and more settled youngsters like Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez, the South American has yet to make his United debut. And he may fast be losing his value.
The Mirror suggests Ferguson will loan the forward to a Championship club in January, where he will be properly introduced to the rigours of first team football in England.