by David McDonnell
Sir Alex Ferguson has struck the first blow in his fight to win back the Premier League title by signing Shinji Kagawa.
Fergie’s Manchester United have agreed terms with Borussia Dortmund for the midfielder with an initial fee of £12million, rising to a potential £17m.
But Ferguson has no intention of stopping there.
Everton and England left-back Leighton Baines and Tottenham’s Croatia midfielder Luka Modric are still in his sights as he seeks to hit back after Manchester City’s dramatic last-gasp league success.
Having missed out on Eden Hazard , United moved swiftly to land Japan star Kagawa for around half the price of Chelsea’s £32m Belgian.
He was a key member of Dortmund’s triumphant side last season, helping them to see off Bayern Munich to complete an impressive Bundesliga and German Cup double.
The 23-year-old, who can play on both sides or behind the main striker, scored 13 goals in 31 league appearances last term.
Kagawa’s versatility gives Fergie more flexibility in attack and he is expected to play just off Wayne Rooney.
The move is subject to a medical and a work permit, with United expecting to seal the deal by the end of this month.
Kagawa played in Japan’s 3-0 World Cup 2014 qualifying win over Oman at the weekend.
And Ferguson was in Berlin to watch Kagawa in Dortmund’s 5-2 German Cup final win over Bayern Munich the day before United lost the title to City.
His arrival will further enhance United’s already huge following in the Far East, where it is claimed they have 325 million fans.
But despite Kagawa’s appeal in Asia, United commercial director Richard Arnold has denied players are signed for commercial means.
“Our popularity in certain countries or regions may depend, at least in part, on fielding certain players from those countries or regions,” said Arnold.
“We don’t sign players to sell shirts. We are reliant on 25 players and they are all massive stars.
“We have 25 George Clooneys. It isn’t down to any one player or person.”