United boss Jose Mourinho is on the look out for a new midfielder as doubts surround the future of Marouane Fellaini, who has yet to pen a new deal and could leave at the end of the season.
Mourinho could now turn to 22-year-old Cristante, who is impressing in Serie A after joining on loan from Portuguese side Benfica at the start of the season.
Cristante has bagged eight goals so far this season, form which has alerted some of Europe's top clubs, including United.
Atalanta do have the option to buy the player for £10 million at the end of the loan spell and reports claim they could look to sell and make a very quick profit.
Cristante is now said to be valued over £30 million, a figure United would be happy to meet if Atalanta did agree to a quick deal at the end of the season.