Moyes planning £25m swoop for Roma's Miralem Pjanic
Pjanic has been superb for Roma, who are top of Serie A with nine straight wins, and United scouts have been watching one of Europe's emerging stars regularly. They have given glowing reports to manager David Moyes, who has made the signing of a creative midfielder his main priority in 2014.
United may have to pay more than £25m for Pjanic as Roma are adamant they do not want to sell midway through a remarkable campaign. The 23 year-old has been at the heart of a three-man midfield alongside another of Manchester United's former targets, Daniele De Rossi and Kevin Strootman.
Significantly, Pjanic has been the creative spark for one of the best Roma sides for years under new manager Rudi Garcia, who is keen to fight off interest in a youngster who has also been crucial in Bosnia's emergence as a genuine international force.
According to reports in Italy, Roma are going to offer their playmaker a new five–year contract, but they are unlikely to be able to offer the same generous personal terms United are willing to put on the table and his representatives will be well aware of the Italian club's financial limitations.
Pjanic, who could have played for Luxembourg after his family moved to the country to escape the war in Bosnia, began his career in France with Metz, before moving to Lyon. Roma paid around £9m to sign him in the summer of 2011, but he has taken some time to blossom in Italy.
Significantly, Pjanic is already a fluent English speaker which Moyes hopes will mean he is able to settle in England quickly if Roma accept they cannot hold on to their star in January.
Moyes also remains interested in Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera. United failed to land the Spain international at the end of summer window and are expected to rekindle their interest in January.