United have opened talks with Barca for the Spain international.
The London Evening Standard says United wanted the 26-year-old to strengthen their midfield next season and they have now opened talks with Barcelona.
It is understood the Spain star is interested in joining friend and former Arsenal team-mate Robin van Persie at United. Arsenal have first option to buy the midfielder back as part of the agreement which saw him join Barcelona for around £35m in 2011, but United are confident that will not be a stumbling block.
Along with Fabregas United have also enquired about another Barca midfielder, Thiago Alcantara, and they want to send out a real signal of intent following Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement and arrival of new coach David Moyes.