The extracts on this page are taken from selected national newspapers. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United.
Fergie’s shopping for a Basque
Manchester United are chasing Spanish star Oscar de Marcos - the Athletic Bilbao flier who knocked them out of Europe. Highly-rated De Marcos will be watched by United’s chief scout Jim Lawlor after boss Sir Alex Ferguson’s brother Martin looked at him last week. De Marcos - 23 later this month - has been an all-action revelation under coach Marcelo Bielsa and scored in both legs against United in the Europa League showdowns. United saw enough of De Marcos in those games to increase their interest and the follow-up trips point to an offer for him in the summer. Fergie wants fresh legs in his midfield - where Paul Scholes has come back but cannot go on forever - and De Marcos is in a similar mould. Bilbao are reluctant to sell their players because they can only recruit from their region, so United will have to pay top money for De Marcos but he is now officially on their shortlist. De Marcos has a release clause of £26million in his contract, although United would be reluctant to offer that much for a player who has yet to be capped by Spain.
Elsewhere, the Daily Mail’s Chris Wheeler claims Sir Alex is “growing increasingly exasperated with Paul Pogba’s refusal to sign a new contract at United.” The French midfielder is a highly-rated prospect at Old Trafford but has so far stalled on a new deal, prompting interest from Juventus.
The same paper includes another transfer story linking the Reds with a summer move for Shinji Kagawa, as mentioned in The Gossip on Wednesday. The Borussia Dortmund player is apparently set to turn a contract extension in Germany, leading to increased speculation about his future.