Tottenham's Eric Dier in action with Crystal Palace's James McArthur
Despite splashing the cash to land Eric Bailly, Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan last summer, United are set to finish sixth in the Premier League table, and they will need to beat Ajax in the Europa League final later this month to secure a Champions League place.
Whether United do make it back into Europe's premier club competition or not, manager Jose Mourinho is expected to have major funds at his disposal again this summer, with a holding midfielder possibly on his wish list.
Michael Carrick's advancing years and soon-to-be expiring contract mean that a true holding midfielder to play in the engine room alongside Pogba and Ander Herrera should be a priority.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy
Now, the Manchester Evening News report that United are turning their attention away from Tottenham's Eric Dier, and will instead pursue Chelsea's Nemanja Matic, a trusted lieutenant of Mourinho.
England ace Dier has impressed for Spurs since arriving from Sporting Lisbon in 2014, featuring at centre back, holding midfielder and even at right back under Mauricio Pochettino, but Spurs are unsurprisingly reluctant to let him leave.
Chelsea's Nemanja Matic in action with Tottenham's Victor Wanyama
That leaves Mourinho looking to reunite with Serbian international Matic, who he brought back to Chelsea in January 2014 having failed to break into the Chelsea side before starring with Benfica.
Matic has played a key role in Chelsea's Premier League title success this season, but United may be hoping that the lure of working Mourinho again can help bring the 28-year-old to Old Trafford in a big-money move this summer.
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