Manchester United's hunt for a creative central midfielder goes on, with their search leading them to Miralem Pjanic
With their failed attempts to bring Spaniards Thiago Alcantara, Cesc Fabregas and Ander Herrera to Old Trafford over the summer, Manchester United and David Moyes are still searching for a creative midfield player – even after signing Marouane Fellaini for £27.5m on deadline day.
Tom Cleverley's return from injury has boosted the centre of the park but Moyes is still on the lookout for reinforcements with the January transfer window fast approaching, and United's start to the season almost certainly means Moyes will be handed money to spend in the New Year.
Whilst another move for Herrera is expected, The Daily Express at the weekend reported that United have identified Roma's Bosnian star Miralem Pjanic as a transfer target, with a £25m fee speculated for the 23 year old.
Pjanic, a 2011 signing from Lyon for £9m, has been in outstanding form for Rudi Garcia's men this season, scoring three goals and assisting three in just nine games, as Roma sit top of Serie A with 27 points – a 100% record.
A target of Tottenham in the summer, Pjanic almost followed Erik Lamela to White Hart Lane but Roma were reluctant to sell the Bosnian so soon after letting their Argentine starlet leave the club, as well as allowing young defender Marquinhos to move to Paris Saint-Germain, in fear of a fan backlash.
However, Pjanic's contract expires in the summer of 2015 and seems unwilling to sign a new contract, and with Bosnia's place at the World Cup in 2014 now guaranteed, a host of clubs will be flocking to watch Pjanic play and assess him – which means United may have to act fast if they are to secure his signature.
Pjanic is the perfect midfield player for United. He's still only 23, with his best years ahead of him, but he's also one of the finest playmakers around right now, with fantastic vision, dribbling ability and passing, and his influence on games will only grow as he continues to develop.
A £25m fee may seem steep at the moment, but Pjanic's potential far exceeds that value and would revitalise a United midfield that has been devoid of real quality for some time now.
With Barcelona also rumoured to be showing an interest in the former Metz academy product, United may have to move quickly if they are to secure Pjanic – or it may be a case of moving on to yet another target for Moyes and Ed Woodward.