Barcelona star pictured in Manchester United kit

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Manchester United are seemingly closing in on a deal to capture Thiago Alcantara from Barcelona before the transfer deadline, but it has emerged that the association between the Spain international and Premier League champions stretches back to his childhood.

It is claimed in Tuesday's Daily Star that Manchester United have agreed a five-year deal with the player and the 20-time title winners are set to sign Thiago for around £17 million.

The 22-year-old has already been urged to sign for Manchester United by the club's goalkeeper David de Gea, and will seemingly become the first significant acquisition of David Moyes' reign.

Thiago is set to arrive at Old Trafford touted as a potential successor to Paul Scholes following the retirement of the Manchester United legend at the end of last season and - something the former would seemingly have dreamed about as a kid.

Pictures have emerged as Thiago wearing a Manchester United shirt aged eight - first spotted by eagle-eyed tweeter @captainkeano71 - during a documentary on his father, Mazinho, a World Cup winner with Brazil in 1994.

Mazinho has reportedly played a key role in convincing Thiago to join Manchester United, with the who family keen to relocate to the north west of England with younger brother Rafinha close to joining Everton.

According to The Mirror, Manchester United may even sign Rafinha, 20, on loan in order to help push through the deal for Thiago.

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