Manchester United have been encouraged in their pursuit of Barcelona midfielder Yaya Toure. The Mirror says Barcelona are willing to sell Toure to United for £20m - but only if they succeed in landing Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is in the market for a holding midfielder with major doubts over whether Owen Hargreaves will make a full recovery following surgery on both knees.

Fergie has identified Toure, whose qualities he saw firsthand when Barcelona beat United in last season's Champions League final, as the man to fill the void left by Hargreaves.