Manchester United are keen to sign Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba after their pursuit of Southampton and England defender Luke Shaw hit a snag. The Spain international is currently regarded as an important first-team player at the Camp Nou, but that is unlikely to stop United from making a bid.
This information comes courtesy of Spanish newspaper AS, who claim United are considering 25-year-old Alba as Patrice Evra’s long-term replacement. The Red Devils handed Evra, 33, a one-year contract extension last month but remain determined to sign another top-class left-back who can come in and eventually succeed the France international.
Shaw has been - and, according to other reports, remains - United’s first-choice left-back target. The 18-year-old has impressed for Southampton over the last two seasons and is part of England’s 23-man squad for this summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil. However, Southampton are reluctant to sell the teenager, and want at least £30 million from the Premier League giants.
A similar offer for Alba could prove too tempting for Barcelona, who are looking for cash to overhaul their team, to resist. The 5ft 7in full-back is widely regarded as one of the best players in the world in his position and played a pivotal role in Spain’s triumphant Euro 2012 campaign, but Barcelona only paid €14 million (around £11 million) for his services two years ago - meaning the Catalan giants would be making a significant profit by choosing to sell.
However, a move is unlikely to happen if - as expected - United successfully manage to strike a deal with Southampton for the transfer of Shaw.
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