Barcelona target Ilkay Gundogan as replacement for Thiago Alcantara

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Manchester United have been given a potential boost in their pursuit of Thiago Alcantara, with reports claiming Barcelona have targeted Ilkay Gundogan as his replacement.

Catalan-based newspaper Sport claims the Blaugrana coaching staff prefer the German international over other midfield options, despite initially claiming that Alcantara was not heading for the exit door at the Nou Camp.

Indeed, Sport reports that Barca board spokesman Toni Freixa said there had been no approach for Alcantara earlier in the week, and that Tito Vilanova subsequently stated the player had no plans to leave the club.

The club’s transfer movements suggest otherwise though, with the paper going on to claim that Alcantara could move away from Barcelona in the next few days.

Manchester United have been chasing the young Spaniard hard for several weeks, with new manager David Moyes setting his sights on the 22-year-old shortly after taking the reigns at Old Trafford.

And, with Borussia Dortmund's midfield dynamo appearing on the radar in Catalonia, the Red Devils boss could secure a major transfer coup.

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