Young to replace Giggs at United as Ferguson looks to youth movement
Sir Alex Ferguson will make his first significant move towards claiming an unprecedented 20th Premier League title by trying to seal a £14million deal for Ashley Young this week.
The Manchester United manager is keen to wrap up his move for Young before the Aston Villa player is selected for England against Switzerland at Wembley on Saturday.
Young has been coveted by Liverpool and Manchester City but has set his heart on joining the ranks at Old Trafford, where Ferguson sees him as successor on the wing to Ryan Giggs.
His arrival could lead to the departure of Nani, who is wanted by Serie A side Juventus.
Young, 25, has told Villa that he will not sign a new contract and the club have decided to cash in before his current deal runs out next year.
Ferguson likes Young's pace and versatility - he is able to play on either flank or as a second striker.
He has flourished in the Premier League following an £8m move to Villa from Watford and has recently broken through into Fabio Capello's England team.
The move will strengthen Liverpool's efforts to sign Stewart Downing from Villa but he still has two years left on his contract and Villa are not budging from an £18m asking price.
Ferguson, who turns 70 in December, has shown no signs of retiring.
His pursuit of Young is part of his desire to rebuild a new team as Edwin van der Sar, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Giggs leave.
Van der Sar and Neville have announced their retirement, with Atletico Madrid's Spanish Under-21 goalkeeper David de Gea earmarked to come in.
Scholes is also likely to call it a day.
And even though 37-year-old Giggs will be at the club next season, Ferguson wants Young to become a major attacking force on the flanks.
Meanwhile, Sunderland, Everton, Manchester City and Leicester should find out this week who has won the chase for Coventry's out-of-contract keeper Keiren Westwood.
Westwood, regarded as one of the best outside the Premier League last season, has been offered firstteam football by Steve Bruce at Sunderland and Sven Goran Eriksson at Leicester.
But the temptation of Champions League football, albeit as a deputy to Joe Hart, must work in Manchester City's favour.
The 26-year-old also believes he will be able to challenge Tim Howard for the goalkeeper's jersey if he moves to Goodison Park.