Exclusive: Man United Close In On £15.3m Barcelona Wonderkid as Old Trafford Side Trigger Release Clause

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Old Trafford outfit set sights on Nou Camp starlet.

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Man United are set to trigger an €18m (£15.3m) release clause in their pursuit of Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara.

CaughtOffside understands the Old Trafford side have sent representatives to discuss personal terms with the young Spanish international, who they believe they can tempt into leaving the Nou Camp to join the Premier League title holders.

The 22 year old has struggled to retain a foothold in the Barcelona first team set-up and the last contract Thiago penned included a stipulation that would see a reduced role in Tito Vilanova’s starting eleven directly impact on the size of any release clause written into his deal.

As a result the fact that Alcantara has made just 15 starts out of 37 La Liga matches means that any interested party can trigger a release clause for a very affordable fee, and David Moyes is keen to see his side push to capture the talented central midfielder.

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Moyes is keen to bring in new midfield options as he looks to freshen up a potential problem area in his Man United squad.

With Paul Scholes retiring from the game for a second time, Anderson putting in another average campaign, Darren Fletcher still recovering from long term illness and Tom Cleverley going off the boil there is certainly scope for a new addition to beef up options in the centre of the park.

Michael Carrick had an excellent campaign but at nearly 32 years of age is clearly not a long term option and therefore one can understand why Man United are scouting youthful options and Thiago Alcantara may well be a very sensible option to push for.

Thiago is into his fifth season in the Barcelona first team but has just 41 La Liga starts to his name in that period and perhaps most tellingly was handed just one Champions League start out of the Catalan side’s 12 fixtures in the competition.

If Alcantara is convinced that he would be a prominent member of the Man United first team set-up then the chance of a new challenge in the English top tier could perhaps tempt the youngster.

Given that Alcantara has to fight the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas for recognition at Barcelona a move to Man United could well be a distinct possibility.

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