Barcelona's Cuenca is challenged by Pilar of Viktoria Plzen during their Champions League Group H soccer match in Prague
arcelona's Isaac Cuenca (L) is challenged by Vaclav Pilar of Viktoria Plzen during their Champions League Group H soccer match in Prague November 1, 2011. REUTERS

Manchester United are monitoring Barcelona youngster Isaac Cuenca according to reports in Spain, even though the patently gifted winger recently expressed his desire to remain at the Camp Nou.

Spanish publication Sport, intimates Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson sent his brother Martin, one of the club's most trusted scouts, to watch the 20-year-old in action against Osasuna. The prodigiously gifted starlet helped his side to a comfortable and typically eye-catching 4-0 victory and subsequent speculation has suggested the Red Devils remain huge admirers of Cuenca.

Manchester United have been made aware that the Spaniard is out of contract in the summer and are eager to be kept informed of Barcelona's on-going talks with the player.

Although Manchester United, and indeed their Premier League counterparts Arsenal, are admirers, Cuenca recently expressed his desire to remain at the club for many years to come.

My deal will end in June but my plan is to remain at Barca," The rumoured Manchester United target told COM Radio. "My desire is to sign a new contract and conversations regarding a new deal are very advanced. For me to be in this team is a dream and now I need to prove to the coach that he was right to have trust in me.

"I am very happy with how 2011 went for me, it was incredible and will be impossible to forget."

Reports in the British press on Friday morning suggested Manchester United have money to spend in January, should Sir Alex Ferguson decide to address his increasingly maligned squad.

Despite Manchester United's £433 million debt, the Glazer family have reportedly placed no restrictions on Ferguson's budget this month, but the Old Trafford supremo has regularly claimed he would not be forced into panic buying.

On Friday, Ferguson reiterated the point that the January transfer market carries little appeal for Manchester United and dismissed reports suggesting they would endeavour to sign Frank Lampard.