David Moyes officially began his reign as Manchester United manager and one of his first pieces of business is thought to be completing a deal for Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara. But United’s attempt to sign the man voted the best player at the recent European Under-21 championship is being held up by the player’s insistence on a clause in his contract similar to the one that could well see him leave the Spanish champions. Thiago can depart the Camp Nou this summer for a fee of €18 million (£15.4m) after failing to make a set number of appearances for Barcelona last season. And the 22-year-old wants similar assurances of first-team action at Old Trafford, according to Barcelona-based publication Sport.
With Thiago keen to leave Barcelona in large part because of his desire to earn a spot in Spain’s 2014 World Cup squad, his desire to be given guarantees about his importance to his next club is understandable. However, equally understandable is United’s believed reluctance to have such a clause in his contract. Sport reports that Moyes views the signing of Thiago as a priority, though, and a deal is thought likely to still go through.
Also at the top of Moyes’ agenda will be resolving the future of Wayne Rooney. The former Everton boss is set to meet with Rooney for the first time since taking charge this week following Sir Alex Ferguson’s claims, which Rooney’s camp denies, that the England international asked to leave the club at the end of last season. And the Manchester Evening News believes that Rooney inform Moyes that he wants to depart Old Trafford.
Chelsea, Paris-Saint Germain and Arsenal are all believed to be interested in the 27-year-old if United decide to sell. If that does happen then the Premier League champions would have a vacancy up front with the Manchester Evening News claiming that interest could well be reignited in Robert Lewandowski. Borussia Dortmund have prevented the striker from signing for Bayern Munich and have since also said that he will see out the remaining year of his contract.
However, talks are said to be planned between Lewandowski and Dortmund next week that could yet to him being sold to a club outside of Germany. It is believed that both United and Manchester City could try to tempt Dortmund into a sale.
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Moyes will also look to push through a deal for long-standing Manchester United target Ezequiel Garay, according to the Daily Mirror. United have been linked to the Benfica central defender for much of this year, with some reports claimed that a deal was already in place. The Mirror believes a £17 million transfer could be close with Benfica having signed a replacement for the 26-year-old. However, stories in Portugal suggest there could be competition from an unnamed club.
Garay has enjoyed a fine two seasons in Lisbon after enduring a difficult spell with Real Madrid, but his current club fell short in the final of the Europa League as well as the Portuguese Cup, while also finishing surrendering a lead and finishing second in the league.