By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent
Manchester United have stepped up their efforts to sign Blackpool winger Tom Ince and are planning a £5 million January move for the 20-year-old, Goal.com can reveal.
Sir Alex Ferguson had lunch with Ince's father, Paul, in Manchester on Monday and is understood to have said that he wants the 20-year-old to follow in the 44-year-old's illustrious footsteps.
Ince moved to Blackpool from Liverpool in the summer of 2011 on a two-year contract which expires at the end of the season.
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Although he would be available on a free transfer next summer, Sir Alex is believed to be keen to integrate Ince into the United setup as soon as possible and is ready to sanction a £5m January swoop.
Blackpool rejected a £4m bid from Swansea City for the attacking midfielder in August as he opted to build on the excellent impression he made during his first season for Ian Holloway's promotion-chasers.
Speaking last month, Ince admitted: "It was flattering that there was interest, as it shows you are doing something well.
"But it was only right I put my faith in Blackpool because they had put their faith in me. They have helped me become the player I am."
His father Paul, a combative midfielder, spent six years at Old Trafford following a £1m move from West Ham in 1989 and played an integral role during their rise to one of Europe's most feared teams.
Ferguson’s growing interest in his son, who made just one League Cup appearance for Liverpool before leaving Anfield, comes as further doubts emerge over the future of Nani. The Portuguese winger has entered the penultimate year of his contract and talks over a new deal have yet to be resolved.
Although he started and scored for United in their 3-2 defeat to Tottenham last Saturday, his relationship with the United boss has deteriorated this season and he is likely to be sold next summer, possibly even in January.