David Moyes has admitted he is doing everything he can to strengthen his Manchester United squad amid reports the club are close to completing the capture of midfielder Thiago Alcantara from Barcelona.
Rumours that Thiago has opted to quit the Nou Camp in favour of Old Trafford in order to maximise his chances of making Spain’s World Cup squad next summer have circulated for some time now.
However, so far, the transfer has not been concluded and Moyes opted not to offer any specific updates when he met the media for the first time yesterday.
Reports have emerged in Spain, though, that representatives of both clubs will meet next week to finalise the transfer.
Thiago is available at a cut-price £17million as he did not feature in the number of first-team games stated in his Barca contract and it is claimed will sign a five-year deal to become Moyes’ first significant capture since replacing Sir Alex Ferguson.
“Manchester United will always be close to the best players,” Moyes told MUTV.
“I will inform the supporters as much as I can.
“Some things are confidential but I am doing everything I possibly can to strengthen the current English champions.”
The deal could be rushed through in time to make Thiago available for the start of United’s pre-season tour on Wednesday.
However, given the highly-rated player’s successful run to the European Under-21 Championship final with eventual winners Spain, he may not be called up for the first part of the three week expedition to the Far East and Australia anyway.
It does appear Wayne Rooney will be involved though, with club sources last night reinforcing Moyes’ public statement of the 27-year-old not being for sale.
However, with Ashley Young, Chris Smalling and Nani all doubts for the first game against Singha All Stars in Bangkok next weekend, Moyes has confirmed the tour may provide an opportunity for a couple of youngsters.
Eighteen-year-old midfielder Adnan Januzaj seems the most likely inclusion, having made the bench for last season’s final game, the epic 5-5 draw at West Brom, although goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, Tom Thorpe and Larnell Cole were all part of the England Under-20 squad for the recent World Cup tournament in Turkey.
In addition, defender Michael Keane has been capped by England at Under-21 level, although twin brother Will missed all last season with a serious knee injury.
“I don’t know if it is useful to be away for three weeks but it is useful in terms of getting to know the players,” said Moyes of the tour, which features visits to Sydney, Japan and Hong Kong in addition to the opener in Thailand.
“They will get to know me and how I work, which is important.
“There are also two or three young players I might get a chance to look at.
“I am looking for (reserve team coach) Warren (Joyce) to give me direction on that and who should be pushed towards the first team.
“Maybe in some of the games I will have the opportunity to seeing them.”