Red Devils could pounce for Belgian playmaker.
Manchester United could be set to make a surprise move for unsettled Chelsea youngster Kevin De Bruyne as David Moyes continues his search for a creative midfield playmaker, CaughtOffside understands.
United have long been in the hunt for an attacking midfielder in the mould of the recently-retired Paul Scholes, and failed in bids for the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Thiago Alcantara and Ander Herrera during the summer, in what turned out to be a frustrating few months in the transfer market for Moyes.
In the end, United signed Marouane Fellaini from Moyes’ old club Everton for £27.5m on deadline day, though the club are still in the market for a more creative player to provide their forwards with more ammunition after a slightly difficult start to the season.
Chelsea’s De Bruyne could now be a surprise target for the Red Devils, with the Blues midfielder looking increasingly likely to leave Stamford Bridge in January after falling out of favour with manager Jose Mourinho.
The 22-year-old looked set to become part of the first-team picture at Chelsea this season after impressing on loan in the Bundesliga with Werder Bremen last term, scoring 10 goals and providing 10 assists. However, with so much competition for places in his position at Chelsea, a regular starting spot always looked a tall challenge for De Bruyne.
And indeed it has worked out that the Belgian has been unable to break past the likes of Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, Oscar, Andre Schurrle and Willian in the Blues’ starting lineup, and looks set to be loaned out again in January after being made to train with the club’s Under-21 side.
Werder Bremen are known to be keen on taking De Bruyne on loan again, while the likes of Bayer Leverkusen and Wolsburg are also said to be interested, but United could try their luck with a surprise bid to take on the youngster permanently.
Moyes could open with a bid of around £15m for the former Genk star, though Chelsea will likely hold out for closer to £20m for a player rated as a hot prospect for the future.
United had actually been linked with another Chelsea player during the summer, with Mata another playmaker on Moyes’ radar as his future at Stamford Bridge seemed equally in doubt after briefly falling out of favour with Mourinho.
Chelsea also pursued United striker Wayne Rooney for much of the summer, so there may still be the possibility of the two rivals selling to each other in the near future, particularly as the Blues may not see much of a future for De Bruyne at the club.
As this is something of an ambitious target for the Premier League champions, the likes of Herrera and other possible options such as Javier Pastore also remain on the club’s list as January approaches.