The Belgian ace left the Blues just over a year ago after an unsuccessful stint in London and has since shone in the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg.
De Bruyne already has 16 assists and eight goals to his name this term for the Volkswagen-backed outfit, making him one of German football’s most feared players.
And this form has, naturally, attracted interest, with City having been linked with a move for the 23-year-old.
However, United are now in the running and are desperate to beat their geographical enemies to the impressive attacker.
Wolfsburg are keen to keep their man, but having paid £17m for him just over a year ago, offers in excess of £30m may be considered.
De Bruyne spent two years at Chelsea, but loan moves to Genk and Werder Bremen limited him to just six months at Stamford Bridge.