New Manchester United manager David Moyes is rumoured to be aggressively pursuing upgrades to the Red Devils' thinnest unit, the midfield, and is calling on Barcelona's Thiago Alcantara to join the fold.
Jacob Steinberg of The Guardian reports that a prospective deal involving the midfielder would be worth £17 million. In addition to fortifying the midfield in Old Trafford, Alcantara would escape the shadows of Xavi and Andres Iniesta, who started ahead of him for Barca.
Alcantara has been frustrated sitting behind the Catalans' two stars over the past two seasons, according to Steinberg. His teammate at Camp Nou, Cesc Fabregas, is also being recruited by United.
However, it appears a deal for Alcantara is more imminent, and the 22-year-old has the golden opportunity to transfer to an English Premier League force and contribute right away.
As Steinberg points out in his report, recently retired manager Sir Alex Ferguson had not acquired a midfielder for United since 1992. Now that the legendary Paul Scholes has retired, it's on Moyes to spearhead this new era of United football, and the first priority is upgrading the midfield line.
Moyes has already gone to lengths to do so already in targeting 21-year-old Marco Van Ginkel, the Holland star of Vitesse Arnhem.
However, Van Ginkel is also highly coveted by EPL rival Chelsea, and Van Ginkel is leaving the clubs in limbo as he deliberates where to spend the best years of his promising career.
Will Manchester United defend the EPL trophy next season?
If the report by Steinberg is any indication, it seems as though Moyes has a far better shot at landing Alcantara at this point. The lack of depth in midfield gives Alcantara even more incentive to join such a storied organization, as he'll be a part of a starting XI.
With a thunderous foot and impressive control over the ball, Alcantara is a threat to score from even far back on the attack. He can play central mid as well as come forward as an attacking midfielder, and set up his teammates in ideal position to continue being a dominant, goal-scoring machine.
It's a new era in Old Trafford, and if Moyes can land Alcantara, he will have a special player with plenty of upside and room to improve. What makes it all the more intriguing is that Alcantara will likely be revitalized by the fresh start and chance to play far more often.
As the Red Devils attempt to stay on top as EPL champions, a great first step would be to acquire a player like Alcantara.