At 7:48 yesterday evening, the Twittersphere began to stir with suggestions that Barcelona’s Thiago Alcantara was nearing a move to Manchester United.
That was when a tweet from Spanish football journalist Graham Hunter declared, “Thiago and United close enough for wages to be agreed.”
From that moment, what for United fans had seemed like a rumour too good to be true was suddenly very much a reality.
Hunter is just one man, but he is a man who knows his stuff. And it seemed unlikely that a journalist with such credibility would make the statement without a fact or two to back it up.
The dailies are now running with their own reports, suggesting that United have agreed personal terms of £5million a year for the 22-year-old, with talks likely to continue between the two clubs over the weekend.
With a very public release clause, it is unclear how long those talks are set to last. But it seems that just days after scoring a hat-trick in the final of the European Under-21 Championship, one of Europe’s hottest properties could well be on his way to Old Trafford.
All has been quiet on the Wayne-Rooney-front in recent days. But reports this morning suggest he could still make a move to Premier League rivals Arsenal, at least if the Gunners’ second-largest shareholder Alisher Usmanov has anything to do with it.
Arsene Wenger is believed to be close to signing Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain. But perhaps dreaming of a new-look strike-force, Usmanov said: “He is a great player and joining the club would be great for Rooney and Arsenal, too.”
image: © castroquini2011