Andy Cole: United could be knocked off their perch
Manchester United have made a €30 million bid for Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas, according to reports in England and Spain.
ESPN FC reported on the Premier League champions' interest in the former Arsenal captain back in May. Now, after losing out on another target - Thiago Alcantara, who has joined European champions Bayern Munich - United have rekindled their interest in Fabregas.
Spanish daily AS reported on Monday that a €30 million bid has been tabled, while the Daily Mirror reports from United's pre-season tour in Australia that club sources have confirmed an offer has been made. The Associated Press also cites an Old Trafford source as confirming the offer.
However, Barcelona are expected to reject the bid, in part due to the loss of Thiago at the weekend. Another complication in any potential transfer is that Arsenal have first refusal on the 26-year-old, as part of the deal which saw him leave the Emirates Stadium to return to his boyhood club in 2011.
Fabregas himself has insisted he is happy at the Camp Nou, where he won the Spanish league title last season, and is determined to make a success of his move back to Spain.
"It has taken a lot for me to get where I am, and I am not thinking about throwing it all away for nothing," he told Marca last month.
"If they [Barcelona] said that they didn't want me, that would be another thing - but what I really want is to triumph at Barca. That has been my dream since I was small. Barcelona is my home, and I have always dreamed of triumphing here."