According to SportsDirectNews, Manchester United have agreed a £17 million fee with FC Barcelona for the transfer of Spain international Thiago Alcantara.
"United manager David Moyes wants to add quality to his midfielder this summer and can offer the Spaniard the regular starting XI berth he craves and SportsDirect News now understands the two clubs have agreed a fee of £17 million for the player."
The Red Devils had already agreed personal terms with the player in the past week but Barcelona were reluctant to accept their European rivals' transfer bid as they wanted to persuade Thiago to change his mind on leaving the Nou Camp.
However, the latest developments indicate that the Catalans have now given up hope of keeping hold of their prized asset and are willing to delve into the player's demands.
Thiago is keen to secure a place in Spain's 2014 World Cup squad. At Barcelona, he was only afforded limited playing time and the 22-year-old is not fully convinced whether the situation will change next term.
Only a couple of days ago, the media was awash with reports that Manchester United had belatedly joined the race to sign the Napoli striker, Edison Cavani. In what looks likely to be the transfer saga of this summer, the plot has more twists than an Agatha Christie novel!
In the first place, it was assumed that clubs with billionaire owners would be the likely destination for the gifted striker, however, one by one they have been dropping out like flies. Firstly the usual culprits like PSG and Monaco had already spent vast sums on players, so they were ruled out, especially after a tap on the shoulder from M. Platini and his FFP squad.
This last week, we have heard that Manchester City have officially pulled out from dealings because they are unwilling to pay the buyout clause of £53m. That left Chelsea in the driving seat, but yesterday they too announced that they will not pay over £40m for the player; not surprising really, given the number of costly flops they have bought in the striker department. Real Madrid seems to have their attention elsewhere, with new manager Ancelotti looking at Luis Suarez as a cheaper option.
The last time these two teams met was back in 2009 in a World Cup qualifier. The result? A one-sided 4-0 smackdown by Brazil. This rivalry is full of history and fierce passion and on Wednesday, South American pride is on the line in what is sure to be a physical affair. Let's take a closer look at where some of the value might lie.
For Brazil, Paulinho is set to return in the midfield after taking some time to rest up and heal his ankle injury. David Luiz suffered a broken nose against Mexico and a bruised leg vs Italy, but he's fit and ready to play.
Uruguay get their captain, Diego Lugano, back after a one game suspension. Defender Andres Scotti is not as lucky as he will serve his own suspension after getting sent off vs Tahiti.
Neymar, Neymar, Neymar?
Neymar entered this tournament with a lot of expectations, but he also came with a bit of baggage as there are many Brazilian fans who aren't enamoured with his attitude. Does three goals in three games on home soil change that perception?
According to SportsDirectNews, Manchester United are in "advanced negotiations" with Benfica for the transfer of center-back Ezequiel Garay.
The Red Devils are expected to complete the signing of the Argentine, for a reported sum of £17million, in the next couple of days, although Garay's former club Real Madrid will pocket half of the fee.
Rio Ferdinand might have signed a contract extension, but he is entering the twilight days of his career, while Nemanja Vidic has struggled with fitness issues over the past two seasons.
This still leaves David Moyes with plenty of options in the form Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, but the Scot is adamant to purchase an experienced and proven defender.
Garay has reignited his career at Benfica after a torrid time with Real Madrid. He might lack in the pace department, but his positional awareness tends to make up for this deficit, while his tackling attributes are also impressive. Garay is comfortable in possession and can calmly build up attacks from the deep.
Spain entered the Confederations Cup as the favorites to win the tournament. Despite facing a difficult rival in the semifinals, the Spaniards still have every reason to believe that they can take down Italy. Here are a few of those reasons.
Xabi Alonso is out injured and Pique might not be able to start in the match due to his injury against Nigeria. Here’s the advantage that Spain has. They don’t depend on a striker. Each and every player is able to score a goal. We found that out with Jordi Alba against Nigeria with his duo of goals.