Man Utd to go back to Bayern Munich for Lahm

The Times says having irked Bayern during their protracted pursuit of Owen Hargreaves, United are circumspect about their chances of signing Lahm, particularly before the summer, but the 24-year-old is regarded by Ferguson as the ideal signing next month.

He is equally comfortable on either flank, so he would offer high-quality cover for Patrice Evra at left back and would be a credible long-term successor to Gary Neville at right back, particularly because Wes Brown, who has deputised for the injured Neville for the past nine months, is running out of time to agree a new contract.

Reports in France yesterday suggested that Willy Sagnol, another Bayern full back, was a target for United, but sources at Old Trafford indicate it is Lahm who has caught Ferguson's eye.