The Mirror says Ferguson is willing to buy Anelka as a stop-gap should Carlos Tevez's move from West Ham continue to be dragged out.

Anelka has emerged as the next choice on the Ferguson hit-list, with United aware a release clause in the Frenchman's Bolton contract means he can go if a club meet a £10.6m valuation.

West Ham, who failed to land Darren Bent and Andy Johnson this summer, are believed to be considering a £12m bid.

Anelka has also been tracked by Arsenal, Valencia and Lyons, and the 28-year-old, who has also played for Liverpool and Manchester City in the Premiership, is understood to be very keen on joining Fergie's star-studded squad.