Manchester United have launched an official bid of £20m for Juventus' Claudio Marchisio, according to the Daily Express.
The last five words in that should lend the story a pretty hefty asterisk, as the Express doesn't have much of a glowing record in the way of transfer or United exclusives, but there may be more at play here.
Marchisio has obviously been linked with United many times in the past, and those reports have resurfaced in Italy in the past week. That's obviously a case of chicken and egg, and checking the express story, we see.... ah yes, "according to reports in Italy."
Interestingly, however, is that the Express' claim has been pretty widely reported elsewhere in the press this morning - attributing it to the paper, but nonetheless, more reliable publications like the Independent were seemingly confident enough to add their own information to the story. Nonetheless, this is still a case of reliable newspapers in England reporting unreliable newspapers in England reporting extremely unreliable newspapers in Italy's stories. Not hugely encouraging.
Marchisio probably isn't right for United - he has a tendency to go missing often, in big games too, which is something he has in common with his likely partner, Michael Carrick, even if his actual style - a tough-tackling box-to-box type with the odd goal - is something we sorely need. He'd certainly be an upgrade and would improve the team but it would be a surprise if the famously diligent David Moyes made a move like this.