Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed the club are trying to sign Bayern Munich midfielder Owen Hargreaves.
The England international has been seeking urgent talks with the Bundesliga champions in an attempt to resolve his short-term future.
Having pointedly refused to commit himself to Bayern, even though he has recently signed a contract which should keep him at the club until 2010, Hargreaves has given clear indications he wants to move to Old Trafford.
And Ferguson has stated today he wants the Canada-born midfielder at the club.
The Scot explained: 'We have been trying to negotiate with Bayern Munich for quite a while now and of course the boy has said he would like to join United.
'We would like to have him here.'
The United boss admitted he had been an admirer of Hargreaves, 25, for some time.
Ferguson had been hoping Ruud van Nistelrooy might join Bayern to help smooth through Hargreaves' Old Trafford move.
However, the Dutchman instead opted to sign for Real Madrid, leaving Red Devils chief executive David Gill the tricky task of trying to conclude the transfer of Hargreaves before the August 31 deadline.
'It is in David Gill's capable hands. He's doing his best,'' said Ferguson.
'You can never be confident but we are hopeful. We are dealing with a big club in Bayern Munich.
'The relationship between the two clubs has always been good.
'We would have preferred Ruud van Nistelrooy to join them because that may have helped us with the Hargreaves situation.
'That wasn't to be. But hopefully we can get something done.'
'What we saw on Wednesday against Greece was not a surprise to me,' said the United boss.
'We have known about Owen since we first came across him in Bayern's centenary match when he was only 18 or 19.
'On that night, he played on the right wing. When he played against us again he was at right back. Now he is in a settled position, which he enjoys.
'He has started to mature and his performances in the World Cup emphasised that.'
'We would have preferred Ruud to join Bayern because that might have helped with Owen's situation,'' admitted Ferguson. 'Unfortunately, that wasn't to be. 'You can never say you are confident when you are dealing with a big club like Bayern Munich but our relationship with them has always been good and David Gill has always got on well with (president) Karl-Heinz Rumenigge and (general manager) Uli Hoeness.'