David Moyes close to completing move for Barcelona playmaker.
Manchester United are closing in on the signing of Barcelona playmaker Thiago Alcantara after the end of the European Under-21 Championships.
The 22-year-old has been linked strongly with a move away from Barcelona this summer due to his desire to play more regular first-team football. His starring role in Spain’s win at this summer’s tournament in Israel, with a superb hat-trick in the 4-2 final win over Italy, has backed up his point and led United to move quickly to snap him up ahead of the likes of Manchester City and Real Madrid.
New Red Devils boss David Moyes has been tracking a midfield playmaker for much of the summer as he is desperate to find a replacement for the retiring Paul Scholes, and was initially thought to be tracking Alcantara’s Barca team-mate and former Arsenal star Cesc Fabregas.
However, Fabregas has stated his desire to remain at the Nou Camp and improve his form, leading Moyes to switch his attention to Alcantara, though he had been unable to progress very far with talks while the youngster was on international duty.
But with the tournament now complete, it is understood that talks are progressing well and in all likelihood Alcantara will be a Manchester United player by next week, becoming Moyes’ second signing of the summer after Uruguayan youngster Guillermo Varela.
This will be a major boost for United, as the Spaniard has all the makings of a world class footballer, only unfortunate to find himself behind the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Fabregas at Barcelona. In limited appearances for Tito Vilanova’s side in 2012/13, he still managed to make an impact with 2 goals and 5 assists.
But with Barcelona targeting bigger names this summer, they are thought to be happy to sell Alcantara to help raise funds for a £30million move for Chelsea’s Juan Mata, who seems to have been made available by new Blues manager Jose Mourinho.
Manchester United’s spending will not end there though, as Moyes is still keen for more midfielders, both defensive types such as Marouane Fellaini or Ilkay Gundogan, and wingers such as Nicolas Gaitan.
Still, with the signing of Alcantara Moyes will have managed to get one of his major priorities out of the way, and could have solved United’s midfield problems for many years to come.
Although a fee is yet to be confirmed, it is thought that the midfielder will sign for between £15 and £18million, looking a good piece of business against other targets such as Claudio Marchisio, valued at £30million, and Nemanja Matic at £38million.