Following weeks of speculation surrounding the future of Thiago Alcantara, the last 48 hours haven’t been kind to Manchester United. The moment Pep Guardiola opened his mouth to praise the Barcelona midfielder, it seemed almost certain the 22-year-old would snub United in favour of a move to Bayern Munich.
And while that deal is not yet done, David Moyes is already being linked with alternatives to his apparent number one transfer target.
One such player is Lazio’s Antonio Candreva, who has also been linked with Manchester City and Tottenham in the past.
There are no quotes, and no fee is being reported at this stage. But at 26 the Italian international is old enough to know a thing or two, but young enough to play a big part in the club’s future.
Another Serie A based target is Arturo Vidal, but his future may be in Spain after Real Madrid reportedly lodged a £36million bid for the Chilean.
Also 26, Vidal is said to have attracted interest from both United and Arsenal, with both clubs considering a move this summer. But with £36million reportedly not enough to tempt Juventus into a deal , it puts Thiago’s bargain-bucket release-clause into some kind of perspective.
One new player Moyes may be able to call on next season is Ezequiel Garay. The Benfica defender has long been linked with a move to Old Trafford, with a “gentleman’s agreement” said to be in place.
But as much as that sounds like a ready-made headline with little substance to back it up, reports from Italy are now suggesting a £17.2million deal has been agreed to bring Garay to the Premier League.
With continuing concerns over the fitness of Nemanja Vidic, it could be a very savvy and important piece of business by the champions.
However, as we reported yesterday, reports in Portugal suggest a different story. They claim any deal is 'impossible' amid United's apparent desire not to pay the asking price.
Watch this space...
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