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The young defender's superb recent form could see him heading back to Old Trafford...

Stoke City defender Ryan Shawcross could be set to make a move back to Manchester United, the club where he began this career, according to a report in the Sunday People.

The British tabloid claims that United boss Sir Alex Ferguson watched Shawcross in Stoke’s 2-0 win over Burnley yesterday, with a view to re-signing the defender.

Certainly, the Scot may well have been impressed with the 21-year-old’s performance, as he scored the opener at the Britannia Stadium.

The young defender has been in impressive form since joining the Potters, which has led to interest from a number of clubs, including Liverpool and Aston Villa.

However, the People claims that the champions are now favourites to land their former player, with Stoke believed to want £8 million for the defender.

Whilst United boast a formidable central defensive pairing of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, recent injuries to the pair may have led the United boss to consider other options.

Jonny Evans has proved himself to be a reliable deputy, whilst Wes Brown and John O’Shea can also fill in but Shawcross, who the United boss will know well, could prove a tempting option.

Shawcross joined Stoke from United in 2008, after a successful loan spell and was a regular last season, bagging three league goals along the way.

Gill Clark,