Reports: Manchester United pursuing 'new Neymar', but face competition from Barcelona

Manchester United are reportedly monitoring Santos striker Gabriel Barbosa, the player touted as the new Neymar.

Based on recent transfer speculation, it seems that Manchester United are trying to bring in a younger, quicker striker in January.

With Wayne Rooney, Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie all in their late 20's or early 30's, it makes sense for Louis van Gaal to sign a younger forward to mould - particularly considering that the three aforementioned strikers have all had their fair share of injury problems in recent years.

Ghanaian international Abdul Majeed Waris has been strongly linked with a move from Trabzonspor to Old Trafford, whilst the agent of Atletico Paranaense's Douglas Coutinho has also told of interest from the Red Devils.

Now though, United could instead pursue one of Coutinho's Brazilian compatriots after the Daily Mirror reported that van Gaal wants to sign Santos ace Gabriel Barbosa.

Barbosa, 18, has arrived on the scene for Santos in the last year or so, and has already been likened to former Santos wonder Neymar - an obvious comparison given their similar stature, promise and of course, playing for the same club.

However, it's also reported that Barcelona managed to get first refusal on Barbosa when they signed Neymar from Santos in 2013, meaning that if United make an acceptable offer, Barcelona will get the chance to match the deal and take him to the Camp Nou.

Barcelona's transfer embargo will give United hope though, with the Catalan giants unable to sign anyone until January 2016 - and United need to take advantage of that if they are serious about signing Barbosa.

Regardless, it seems that van Gaal certainly wants to sign a striker soon, despite lingering issues in the United defence.

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