Kaka to Old Trafford may be proving an entertaining distraction but the Cutter understands that Manchester United still intend to make a £9m swoop for Fulham midfielder Moussa Dembele before the transfer window closes.

Alex Ferguson has long coveted the 25 year old Belgian but mainly from afar and despite there being much speculation linking the player with a move north that dates back to January it is only this week that a firm bid has been made.

The bid – believed to be a derisory £5m – was immediately rebuffed by the Fulham hierarchy who considered it insulting for one of the best Premier League performers of last term but that was simply an opening move by United who are now expected to return with a more realistic offer.

Dembele only has twelve months remaining on his contract – something that United are understandably using as a bargaining chip – but the London side can justifiably point out that the same applied to Robin van Persie who headed to Manchester last week for a king’s ransom. This stand-off is set to be resolved with the higher sum though how much depends on Berbatov being shifted off the wage bill first is open to interpretation and the likelihood is that either or both movements will take place on the final day of the August window.

What has smoothed the path for United’s approach has been the apparent dropping out of contention of Real Madrid who were mooted to be interested should their attempt to prise Luca Modric from Spurs fail. It is now believed that the Spanish giants are so convinced that Modric is bound for the Bernabau they have put all their eggs in the single proverbial basket and are no longer considering alternative options.

Ironically it is precisely this that prompted Sunday’s linking of Kaka to United but whether there is substance to these claims or not has no bearing on Ferguson’s pursuit of Dembele who he views as the ideal man to add some much-needed craft and scheming to the heart of United’s midfield.

Fulham boss Martin Jol spoke this week of his dislike of the transfer window. As he faces waking up on September 1st without both Clint Dempsey and Dembele who on earth can blame him?