Steven Defour has long been one of the most coveted young players in Europe.
Skysports.com understands Manchester United are weighing up a move for long-term target Steven Defour.
The Standard Liege midfielder has attracted the interest of United in the past with United boss Sir Alex Ferguson even sending a letter to the player last year to wish him a speedy recovery after he suffered a serious foot injury.
A number of clubs across Europe have been credited with an interest in Defour, but United are keen to lure him to Old Trafford.
In a bid to steal a march on their rivals United could step up their interest in the Belgian international befoe the close of the transfer window.
Defour has previously expressed his desire to move to England and United could be in the market for a new midfielder as doubts continue to surround the long-term future of Owen Hargreaves. (Sky Sports)
Steven Defour signed a new contract for Standard Liege in March that theoretically committed him to the Belgian club until 2015. However, the contract is believed to include a release clause that will allow him to leave should one of the top teams in Europe target him.
Manchester United, undoubtedly, are one of those teams.
Having captained his club at the age of just 19, Defour has a leadership and desire to succeed rare in today’s game. If Manchester United do cough up the cash to buy him, it would be Michael Carrick fearing most for his future. The Belgian international can do everything Carrick can do, but with a better engine and tackling ability – not to mention sense of urgency.
Last year Defour broke his foot, prompting Sir Alex Ferguson to send him a letter of encouragement.
“Dear Steven, I heard that you have a serious injury. You will have to work hard to make your comeback, but then I will follow your performances closely. I will certainly keep in contact with Standard, and I hope that your mental strength holds out.”
Manchester United hope a bid of around £12m would secure the services of one of the most promising young players in Europe – and at 21, Defour could give Manchester over a decade of service.