Manchester United have been searching for a dynamic midfield operator since the start of Davis Moyes’ reign at the club.
One player who appeared to be on that list in the summer of 2013 was Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara. When the Spaniard had made it clear he desired a move away from Catalonia in order to play more regular football - and he did get the move he desired.
Unfortunately for United that move was not to Old Trafford. Instead he headed for Bayern Munich to team up with his former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola at the Allianz Arena.
But in February it looked as if Manchester United had come up with the perfect solution. If you cant have Thiago, sign his little brother instead.
Rafinha Alcantara has been in great form this term during a loan spell at Celta Vigo - which has seen him linked with several moves recently.
The report in The Mirror stated:
Manchester United are tracking Barcelona's emerging midfield talent Rafa Alcantara…The 21-year-old has been tipped to be part of the Barca first-team squad next season.
But United - who tried to sign the player's elder brother, Thiago, last summer but lost out to Bayern Munich - are watching developments closely.
He certainly seems like a good option - and he has a buyout clause in his current deal set at €30 million - so meeting that price would see him immediately become open to negotiation.
However, yesterday saw Barca boss Tata Martino throw a fly in the ointment.
He stated of Rafinha:
“I do not know how soon, but he has a future at FC Barcelona. He is an excellent player who has taken his chance at Celta Vigo.”
So while United may be willing to pay the clause - this vote of confidence from his future manager can only be bad news in their pursuit of a much sought after Spanish-Brazilian talent.
image: © mariosp