David Moyes is looking to make a strong impression early in his tenure with the Red Devils, and he's had his eyes set on some big transfer targets to help accomplish this.
I think it is safe to call Gareth Bale and Cesc Fabregas big targets. Of course, both Tottenham and Barcelona have been eager to tell anyone who will listen that they don't want to part with these guys.
But that certainly isn't stopping the rumors.
It's been a lucrative couple of days for Bale. First, there was a report Sky Sports passed along from a rumors in Spanish sports daily Marca, that "a six-year contract has been prepared for [Bale]."
In response to this, according to Ashton, Spurs put together a deal that would pay Bale "in excess of £150,000 a week."
According to Ashton, Real Madrid is prepared to pay Bale £200,000 a week.
Yet, in these reports there is no mention of Manchester United.
On July 19 Mark Ogden of the Daily Telegraph reported of United's interest in Bale but noted the club had yet to launch a bid.
Well, if they ever plan to launch one, now is the time to aggressively blast off.
While it is easy for me to sit here and say the Red Devils should make a massive bid for Bale, not even Manchester United have unlimited funds.
The reason they may be keeping quiet on Bale could be due to the fact that they have all their money tied up in a potential move to land Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas.
Bringing in a new addition to the midfield was the big priority for the Red Devils during this transfer window, and they have their sights locked on bringing Fabregas back to the EPL, which looks like something he'd be interested in.
El Mundo Deportivo reported, with translated excerpts passed along by ESPN, that the return home for Fabregas hasn't been as enjoyable as he anticipated. Adding to that is a report by Sky Sports, that the midfielder is not pleased by the fact he has received no assurances on a starting spot next year.
Still, Barcelona have made it clear they intend on keeping him. Late last week, Barcelona vice president Josep Maria Bartomeu was quoted the Spanish daily Sport (via Sky Sports) expressing the club's intent on keeping their midfielder: "Barcelona can assure you we will not entertain any offers for Cesc. It is totally ruled out, he's not for sale."
Of course, this could just be a ploy to drive up his price, and if so, it appears to be working.
Greg Stobart of Goal.com reported that Barcelona turned down a £30 million bid from the Red Devils, and they simply returned with a £35 million bid.
I will be surprised if Fabregas doesn't end up at Old Trafford. However, it may take a bit more negotiating.