Manchester United are losing the battle to bring in a world-class central midfielder before the start of the new season, with chief executive David Gill saying all potential deals are currently "dead".

16084 - United confirm Sneijder and Nasri deals 'dead'

Sir Alex Ferguson is keen to bolster his options in the middle of the park following the release of Owen Hargreaves and the retirement of Paul Scholes at the end of last season.

He is thought to have tabled an offer for Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri, whose contract runs out in 2012, but the France international now looks set to stay with the Gunners - or join Manchester City.

Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder has also been linked to the Red Devils, with his club Inter Milan hinting earlier this week that they could be receptive to a bid for the playmaker.

But according to Gill, that deal never got off the ground. Asked about Sneijder, he said: "We didn't progress that one. I'm not doing anything on anything at the moment, so they are all dead."

Ferguson is now likely to place his faith in Michael Carrick, who returned to form towards the end of last season following a disappointing 12 months.

Elsewhere, Gill confirmed Antonio Valencia is close to agreeing a new deal at Old Trafford.