David Moyes will step up his interest in midfielder Ander Herrera when Manchester United watch the midfielder on Monday when Athletic Bilbao take on Granada.
Herrera was the subject of a transfer deadline day bid from the reigning Premier League champions, although United were reluctant to meet the £30.5m release fee due to the complex nature of his contract with the Basque club, which would have seen either the club or the player himself have to cover the additional tax figure.
Moyes is also said to be evaluating whether Herrera would be ready to slot straight into their first-team squad, after they added £27.5m midfielder Marouane Fellaini on the final day of the summer window.
Following the embarrassing 4-1 derby defeat to Manchester City, Moyes admitted that his side were at least two top-quality players short of his desired starting XI, as he looks to defend a title that was won by his predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson, and also mount a serious Champions League campaign.
Herrera was identified as a priority signing, and United could very well return for his signature in January where the club could also resume their interest in England and Everton left-back Leighton Baines.
Baines has had a tremendous start to the new campaign, culminating in two perfectly taken free-kicks that helped his side to victory against West Ham last Saturday. The 28-year-old had asked to follow his former boss in making the switch to Old Trafford, but he was denied by the Toffees coaching staff.
Meanwhile, Moyes will assess the fitness of star striker Robin van Persie and midfielder Tom Cleverley ahead of this weekend’s visit of West Brom. The Dutchman, who has somewhat been outshone so far this season by his team-mate Wayne Rooney, suffered a groin strain in training ahead of the derby defeat, and he also missed Wednesday’s Capital One Cup victory over Liverpool.
Cleverley also missed the 1-0 win over the reds with a knee problem, and both have been given an outside chance of being included, although they could be saved for next week’s Champions League clash with Ukrainian league champions Shakhtar Donetsk.