BOLTON Wanderers will decide whether to submit a concrete bid for Chris Morgan within the next seven days.
The Premiership club, beaten by United in the FA Cup on Saturday, have been monitoring Morgan's situation at Bramall Lane for the past month as manager Gary Megson looks to reinforce his squad for the battle against relegation.
Bryan Robson's captain missed the third-round tie after injuring his ankle during last month's fixture at Cardiff City.
But fears he could be set for a long spell on the sidelines have since been eased, and that could persuade Bolton to test United's resolve with an official offer.
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The Star understands that Morgan, who remains one of Robson's most popular and influential players despite his troubled start to the season, features on the shortlist of names Megson has drawn up for a transfer window expected to have a huge bearing on whether both sides achieve their objectives this term.
United, who have just 20 games to claw back the seven-point gap between themselves and the play-off positions, are likely to wait until Gary Cahill's future at Aston Villa is resolved before taking any major policy decisions on their defence.
Despite holding talks with Martin O'Neill after completing a hugely successful three month loan spell with United, Cahill is still believed to be none the wiser as to Villa's intentions.
Unless a definitive answer about whether he can return is forthcoming, Villa's procrastination could impact elsewhere.
However, Bolton will possess the financial muscle to break the impasse when they sanction Nicolas Anelka's sale to either Chelsea or Manchester City.
Chelsea confirmed they had a 12 million bid rejected by Bolton on Monday and officials at The Reebok Stadium want to spark a bidding war between two of Europe's richest clubs.
Robson, who has been linked with Derby's David Jones, Portsmouth's Richard Hughes, West Ham's Nigel Quashie and Perspolis' Ali Reza Nikbakht, must make a series of tough choices before the end of the month.
The former England captain must assess Nicky Law's progress following a stint with Bradford City, while Evan Horwood and Jordan Robertson are poised to complete loan spells with Gretna and Dundee United respectively.
Horwood recently agreed a four-week extension with the SPL strugglers while Robertson could be recalled to South Yorkshire or allowed to complete the season at Tannadice.
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