This summer transfer window has been a bit unusual, on account of the huge sums of transfer fees being splashed out on relatively inexperienced but immensely talented young players.
Bayern Munich started the trend by splashing out a record €37m to land 21-year-old Mario Gotze. Barcelona followed suit by announcing a €57m deal to add 21-year-old Neymar to their spectacular line-up next season.
Not to be left behind by their arch-rivals, Real Madrid went out and emptied their pockets by €27m to enlist the services of another 21-year-old in Malaga playmaker Isco. Los Blancos have also been linked with 23-year-old Gareth Bale on whom Tottenham have slapped a disbelieving €117m price tag.
In light of such huge transfer deals, Manchester United's pursuit of 23-year-old Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara would be the steal of the summer at just £17m, which is his reported release clause.
Thiago, who has been dubbed as the 'next Xavi', is a player with exceptional ball skills and has shown great composure and vision - all the makings of a future star. His performances in the UEFA Under-21 Championships this year, in which he scored a superb hat-trick in the final, has made several clubs sit up and take notice of his skills.
However, the fact that Barcelona has allowed his exit clause to drop so low suggests that certain sections of Barca's technical staff are not entirely convinced of his qualities.
His tendency to do the spectacular is not sufficiently appreciated at La Masia, where they prefer to keep things simple. He is also not the strongest of players and his tackling and consistency need more improving.
Nonetheless, he is a player of amazing quality and Barcelona are making a desperate and concerted last-ditch effort to keep the player with them, whom former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola rates so highly. Pep had commented: "Thiago is a special player. We are fortunate that we've produced another player in-house."
As it turns out, a slight miscalculation on Barca's part may have instead made Manchester United the fortunate ones as the Red Devils have reportedly agreed on a contract with the player.
The Premier League champions have been crying out for a quality midfielder for some time now and in Thiago Alcantara, David Moyes has got the perfect replacement for the retiring Paul Scholes.
Similar in stature and playing style to 'Scholesy', Thiago would straight away fit into the United line-up. Alongside Michael Carrick in midfield, shielding the defence, he would have the license to move forward and use his amazing vision to create chances for United's formidable forward line.
His signing would also bring relief to United's fans who have had to repeatedly endure the ignominy of seeing their club's transfer targets end up plying their trade elsewhere.
Though last year they managed to secure the services of Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa, high-profile names like Mesut Ozil, Lucas Moura and Eden Hazard are just a few among many who were seemingly Old Trafford-bound before they decided to move elsewhere at the last minute.
In Thiago, Manchester United are getting a player who is determined to be on the plane to Brazil next year as part of the Spanish World Cup squad and in Moyes, United have got a fiery Scot who, irked by the constant cacophony of noises reminding everyone of his lack of titles in his career so far, must be determined to prove his worth to his sceptics.
Thiago Alcantara and Manchester United are definitely made for each other, at least, if not forever, for the 2013/14 season.
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