As the days tick down to the opening of the transfer window, the rumours surrounding Manchester United appear to have narrowed to just two players. And today the futures of Thiago Alcantara and Wayne Rooney may be more closely linked than first thought.
Spanish newspaper Sport has run a front page headline declaring that Barcelona are willing to offer €12million plus Thiago in exchange for Rooney.
Having all but given up on persuading the 22-year-old to stay, the Catalan side now appear hopeful of turning the situation in their favour.
Were it not for Thiago’s release clause, it is likely that United would be the one adding a player to the mix, but Barcelona’s hands are tied in regard to the Spaniard’s price-tag, leaving the possibility of David Moyes getting both his man and a sizeable cheque come July.
When the reports of Rooney to Barcelona first started yesterday, we were quick to dismiss them. And the truth is Sport still feel any move for Rooney is secondary to Tito Vilanova’s need to sign defensive reinforcements. But with United unlikely to sell to a domestic rival, is it really beyond the realms of possibility?
Contrasting reports in England suggest Moyes has no intention of selling the 27-year-old, and will tell him as much when pre-season training begins.
It has long been reported that the two would meet this week to discuss Rooney’s future. But it is now claimed that Moyes will wait for the whole squad to return and talk to the England forward in a less formal setting.
Rooney is still said to be angered with Sir Alex Ferguson’s claim that the player asked for a transfer request at the end of last season. But Moyes is said to be hopeful of dealing with that situation and persuading the player to stay.
And finally…back to Thiago, who Spanish football journalist Graham Hunter believes is destined for Manchester United.
In an interview with TalkSport yesterday, Hunter said it was down to the player to speak to Barcelona and reveal his intention to leave. He also confirmed that United had been tracking the player for three years.
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