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What to make of Man United's rumored interest in Barcelona's midfield duo

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By: Gaurav Sharma 11 Jun 2013 09:54:50

What to make of Man United's rumored interest in Barcelona's midfield duo

The idea of either Cesc Fabregas or Thiago Alcantara lining up in the red of Manchester next season is still some way off. David Moyes will have to work out the future of Wayne Rooney and also decide whether Shinji Kagawa will be given more game time, as their futures will affect a move for yet another central player.

On the cusp of his prime years and eager for meaningful, first-team football after playing second fiddle to the likes of Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and even Lionel Messi at Barcelona, Fabregas is surely desperate for a key role in a winning team, which is why Manchester United represent a much more appealing option than his former club Arsenal.

According to former United left-back Denis Irwin, the Red Devils are equally keen on Fabregas. “Cesc Fabregas has zoomed up Manchester United’s transfer target list to the top position,” he recently told Sunday World (via ESPNFC). “The Champions are going to move heaven and earth to get him.”He added: “Fabregas is just the sort of all-action midfield player United need if they are to make a run at next season’s Champions League.”

With Neymar’s arrival, places will be more difficult to come by at the Nou Camp and Fabregas knows he cannot ill-afford to spend another season playing second-fiddle to Xavi and Iniesta. This season may also prove crucial if he is to gain a starting role for the World Champions in next year’s mega footballing event.

Fabregas’ Spanish teammate Thiago Alcantara, hailed as the brightest young prospects at the Camp Nou is also one of the midfield options rumoured to be on the list of Red Devils if Fabregas indeed decides to persist with Barcelona. Thiago is currently away with Spain's under-21 squad where he is busy displaying that he could just be the bargain transfer of the summer. Available for just €18 million due to a clause in his contract, United may just find they have a few more competitors for his signature once the tournament is over.

The 22-year olds elegance on the ball makes most of the Barcelona fans compare him to Xavi Hernandez and he seems to be the perfect replacement for Barca’s midfield maestro. But as Spanish newspaper AS have reported, Thiago is actually more advanced in his first two seasons in at Barcelona than the players he is trying to displace. Thiago played 45 games in his first season and 36 in his second, 81 combined, better than both his illustrious teammates. In Xavi's first season he played 24 times and then 34 the next, 58 combined, while Andres Iniesta nine times in his first season and 17 in his second.

He has been seen as perfect replacement for Xavi, but desire to gain more-first team football has made Thiago restless and he will find no shortage of suitors with Manchester City also keen on the starlet. There are also suggestions that incoming Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola is keen to rekindle his relationship with the former Flamengo youth star.

With the retirement of maestro Paul Sholes, pending return of Darren Fletcher and an uncertainty about the future of Anderson Oliveira, Manchester United are in need of some midfield reinforcements in the summer if they are to retain their Premier League crown. United fans will be licking their lips at the prospect of seeing Michael Carrick and Cesc Fabregas together at the heart of midfield. While the deals for these two players are some way unrealistic, you cannot predict anything about modern day football as someone had once said Football Bloody Hell, eh?


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