Former Manchester United left-back Denis Irwin has revealed the club’s top summer transfer target is FC Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas, ESPN understands.
Fabregas, 26, is reportedly seeking a move away from the Camp Nou after receiving inconsistent playing time under manager Tito Vilanova last season.
According to reports, Arsenal have the ‘first-option’ to re-sign Fabregas, but United are confident they can outbid their English Premier League rivals for the Spain international.
Irwin is currently an “ambassador” at Old Trafford. He was among the first experts to reveal the Red Devils’ interest in Arsenal forward Robin van Persie last summer.
“Cesc Fabregas has zoomed up Manchester United’s transfer target list to the top position and the champions are going to move heaven and earth to get him,” Irwin told the Sunday World.
“The Barcelona star wants out of the Nou Camp and United want him badly, so the deal should be done easily enough. Fabregas is just the sort of all-action midfield player United need if they are to make a run at next season’s Champions League.
“Cesc won’t be short of offers for I believe this is going to be a transfer season where eye-boggling amounts of money will be spent.”
The former Republic of Ireland defender also predicted that United duo Nani and Patrice Evra are going to join Ligue 1 newcomers AS Monaco FC, with the champions replacing the latter with highly-rated Southampton starlet Luke Shaw.
De Bruyne set for Chelsea return
According to Bayer Leverkusen GM Michael Reschke, Belgium international midfielder Kevin De Bruyne will return to Stamford Bridge next season, Sky Sports reports.
De Bruyne, 21, joined Chelsea from Jupiler Pro League side K.R.C. Genk in January 2012, but has yet to make a first-team appearance for the Blues.
It has been suggested that the 21-year-old, who spent last season on loan at Werder Bremen, could be on his way to Bayer Leverkusen in a deal which would bring Germany international forward Andre Schurrle to West London.
In addition, UEFA Champions League runners-up Borussia Dortmund are keeping tabs on the Belgium international.
However, newly appointed Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho intends to keep De Bruyne at Stamford Bridge next season, and smartly so.
“At a meeting on Wednesday in Leipzig, Chelsea and Jose Mourinho made it clear that Kevin returns to Chelsea,” Reschke told Bild.
“It was not possible to connect it with the Andre Schurrle transfer.”
De Bruyne bagged 10 goals and nine assists in 33 league appearances for Werder Bremen last season.