Manchester United have only made one major signing so far this transfer window and fans are desperate to see more, if only to prove that Ferguson actually has some money to spend – but it will be frustrating for them that other big clubs seem to be muscling in on targets they have been linked to.

Real Madrid and Manchester United end up in transfer circle over two players

Luka Modric was seen as a long term Sir Alex Ferguson interest and when Andre Villas Boas said that Spurs had received several bids for the player then it was assumed that one of those will have been from the Old Trafford club. In June The Mirror claimed Manchester United were ready to offer Tottenham £22m for the Croatian midfielder, but when Real Madrid entered the picture then the price probably went outside the realms of what they wanted to pay for the player.

Modric is 27 next month and many clubs now factor any potential sell-on fee into what they’re prepared to pay for a footballer, with interest from Real Madrid likely pushing the price beyond their reach the club looked at other targets.

Now the situation could turn full circle and one of United’s alternative Modric targets could become the same for Real Madrid who are growing tired of Daniel Levy. Nieuwsblad in Belgium say that the La Liga club have inquired about Moussa Dembele, who has also been linked with Manchester United.

They claim Jose Mourinho contacted the player’s agents and sounded them out about a possible deal, Real Madrid would not purchase both him and Luka Modric so he’s seen as an alternative addition to the squad.

If Real Madrid did pull out of the Modric chase and go for Dembele then that could re-open that potential transfer for Manchester United. With Villas Boas already citing concerns about the Croatian’s mental state, if he demanded a move from White Hart Lane and Real Madrid were no longer interested then Manchester United would surely take a look at the situation.