Fergie watches young Spaniard

Next Xavi watched by scouts, but has not been contacted

Ferguson: Linked with midfielder

Villarreal youngster Javier Matilla insists he has not been contacted by Manchester United ahead of the transfer window, but acknowledges he is being watched.

It has been reported that United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has sent his scouts to watch the Spain Under 21 international, who has been described as the next Xavi.

Midfielder Matilla is currently under contract with Villarreal's B team, but rumours suggest that a number of clubs are planning a €3million (£2.7m) bid in January.

The 21-year-old is adamant that he has not been approached and that he is happy with Villarreal, however, he recognises that up-and-coming Spaniards will attract transfer interest.

Matilla told Spanish media: "I know about the rumours, but they are not rare. The members of Spain's U21 team are watched by lots of scouts.

"I am happy with Villarreal and my dream is to be in the first-team squad.

"Nobody has contacted me and my challenge is to work hard every day."

A statement from Villarreal's directors on the subject of Matilla read: "We have not received any formal offer, but we know that there are scouts at our matches."