The People says United's top scout Jim Lawlor is preparing to fly to the States to watch the giant 18 year old, who is skipper of his country's youth team, on the orders of Old Trafford boss Ferguson.
The 6ft 3in Shea caught United's eye at last month's Toulon tournament in France, where he stood out despite being years younger than most in the under-23 category.
The powerful Shea, whose family is of Norwegian stock, can play at centrehalf or in midfield and has been outstanding in his first season as a professional in America.
Shea is rated highly by many clubs and is also a target for Bolton Wanderers.
The youngster came over for a trial at the Reebok last season and they are hoping he returns.