Manchester United Transfer News: Stevan Jovetic, Thiago Alcantara and More

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVJuly 11, 2013

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - JUNE 18: Thiago Alcantara of Spain celebrates his team's third goal during the UEFA European U21 Championship final match between Italy and Spain at Teddy Stadium on June 18, 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel.  (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Manchester United are in the midst of five Premier League titles in the last seven years, yet they aren't taking it easy on this summer's transfer window.

New manager David Moyes looks to sculpt his future squads for the Red Devils, who have a heap of question marks surrounding their future in the midst of Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement and star players flying all around the EPL to contend with them next season.

Will United be able to bring one or more of their most coveted players of this offseason into Old Trafford to play for the reigning champions? Or will their rivals get a leg up heading into 2013-14?

All of those and more will be answered by the end of this crazy offseason.

Let's take a look at the latest news surrounding Manchester United.


Thiago Alcantara

It's been all good news on the Thiago Alcantara front for Manchester United fans, that is, until Tuesday.

Barcelona confirmed that Thiago would be a part of their squad during preseason training, according to Charles Perrin of the Daily Express

"We have the players we have and Thiago is one of them," Barcelona spokesman Toni Freixa told Spanish radio station Radio Catalunya"Pre-season with us begins as scheduled."

Of course, this is nowhere near a nail in the coffin of United's pursuit of Thiago. It just means that things aren't serious enough between the two sides to warrant holding the 22-year-old out of any sort of club activity.

Sometimes the best way to avoid distractions is to not cause them, and that's what I believe Barcelona are trying do to in the wake of this mess with Alcantara. It's no secret they'd like to hold onto their budding star, and even Spain national team manager Vicente del Bosque chimed in to urge Thiago to stay in the native land, according to Adam Crafton of the Daily Mail

Of course, with Thiago's flimsy £15 million release clause, Barca won't be able to do much to retain him if the youngster is set on moving to join the English champs.

But it could come down to the most playing time as well as loyalty and weekly wages. And right now, it's still unclear who has the upper hand in those three categories combined despite Manchester's big push.


Stevan Jovetic

It seemed as if Manchester United were poised to make a late run at stealing away Stevan Jovetic from Manchester City, but that move is coming up short. 

According to Martin Lipton of the Daily Mirror, City are close to sealing the deal on the 23-year-old after staving off a furious run by Moyes and United. 

New boss Manuel Pellegrini has pushed hard to land the 23-year-old Montenegro international, who had also been targeted by Arsenal, Chelsea and Juventus, for his new-look Blues.

But while the new Old Trafford chief David Moyes made a last-minute attempt to try to prise Jovetic out of City's arms, Pellegrini is on the brink of winning his first Manchester battle.

Jovetic's agent, Fali Ramadani, held intensive talks with City sporting director Txiki Begiristain on Wednesday after the Florence club gave the green light.

The Fiorentina forward has been one of the hot commodities on this year's transfer market, with his ability to score and create opportunities in the attacking third. 

It's reported by Lipton that City are ponying up £28 million on the prized Montenegro native, who scored 35 goals in a five-year career with Fiorentina that now seems to be nearing its end.

Moyes was hoping to pry Jovetic away from the cross-town rival in the wake of missing out on Robert Lewandowski. This report from The Telegraph takes us back to when United thought they were between both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lewandowski. 


Leighton Baines

Manchester United are courting the likes of Everton's Leighton Baines, and the two sides both look interested in formulating a deal.

According to The Guardian's Andy Hunter, Everton are waiting for a second bid from the EPL champions after the first bid was rejected late last month. 

Everton are reported by Hunter to be putting a £20 million transfer fee tag on the 28-year-old, who United want to bring in to contribute and potentially move into a starting XI spot. But Moyes and company aren't keen on making an offer close to that amount.

Meanwhile, new manager Roberto Martinez is hoping to extend Baines' contract with Everton and keep him from joining the mighty United.

Needless to say, it won't be easy for Everton to let go of the prized left-back.