By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent
LEWANDOWSKI AGREES TERMS TO JOIN MANCHESTER UNITED
Sir Alex Ferguson has dismissed the possibility of Manchester United signing any players in January but one A-lister is heading for Old Trafford.
Goal.com understands that Robert Lewandowski has agreed in principle to join United next summer.
The deal to bring the Borussia Dortmund striker to the club is already believed to have been secured despite Sir Alex Ferguson having an embarrassment of attacking riches, with Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez already on his forward roster.
The Bundesliga champions have accepted that Lewandowski wants to leave the club and link up with former colleague Shinji Kagawa at Old Trafford.
The Poland international is said to have agreed the terms of a five-year contract with United and the fee, likely to be around £12-14million, will be rubber stamped at the end of the season.
Sir Alex, who was at Etihad Stadium to see Lewandowski spearhead Dortmund’s attack to such effect in the club’s 1-1 draw at Manchester City in early October, is a long-time admirer of the prolific forward.
The 24-year-old has scored 15 goals for Dortmund already in the current campaign to follow the 30-goal haul that inspired the club to the German league and cup double last season.
INTER JOIN RACE FOR OUTCAST NANI
There is likely to be some activity at Old Trafford next month, as the club prepare to listen to offers for a number of squad players, most notably Nani.
Goal.com understands that Inter have now joined a number of Italian clubs, including Juventus and AC Milan, in pursuing the Portuguese and have “serious interest” in signing him in January.
Nani is almost certain to leave Old Trafford next year following a breakdown in his relationship with the club and manager Sir Alex.
Talks over a new contract have collapsed while the winger has barely figured in the first team since he had an alleged training ground fight with reserve team midfielder Davide Petrucci in September.
Nani has started just seven of United’s 25 matches this season and not a single Premier League game since the 3-2 defeat to Tottenham on 29 September.
United are holding out for £20m for a player they signed from Sporting Lisbon in 2007 but his value will diminish if he is still at Old Trafford at the end of the season, by which time he will only have 12 months remaining on his contract.
A parting of the ways next summer is believed to be more likely than January, but that could change if Inter or one of Nani’s other suitors come close to United’s asking price.
A £25m deal to sell him to Zenit St Petersburg in the summer fell through because his “unreal” wage demands put off the Russian champions.
UNITED TO FUND MACHEDA LOAN MOVE
Federico Macheda is preparing to be loaned out for the third consecutive winter after struggling to catch the eye of Sir Alex.
The 21-year-old has made only three substitute appearances for United this season and is available for loan once again, following spells at QPR in the second half of 2011/12 and Sampdoria the previous year.
Macheda’s £35,000-a-week wages have put off a number of interested clubs and Goal.com understands that United are willing to part-fund a January loan by contributing around £25,000-a-week towards his salary.
SCHOLES TO BE OFFERED YOUTH TEAM ROLE
Paul Scholes could decide to finally bring down the curtain on his glittering career at the end of the season.
If he does, United are ready to offer the 38-year-old a senior position with the club’s Under-18s team.
Sir Alex was among the spectators who watched United crash out of the FA Youth Cup at the first hurdle against Burnley a fortnight ago.
He was particularly irked by the defeat and believes Scholes could offer guidance to the club’s youngsters following a stint with the old reserves set-up in the first half of last season.
Scholes, who came out of retirement 12 months ago, is not committed to the team beyond this season and has been used more sparingly recently. The central midfielder has not started a match for a month, with Tom Cleverley becoming more of a regular starter alongside Michael Carrick.