Manchester United look to have won the race for highly coveted Hoffenheim star Roberto Firmino, reports The Express.
Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool were all rumoured to be interested in the attacking midfielder but Louis van Gaal has stolen a march on his Premier League rivals ahead on the January transfer window.
The Red Devils are reported to have agreed a deal with the Bundesliga outfit worth £20 million and are in talks with the player regarding a long-term contract. Firmino is expected to agree a deal and join up with his new team-mates when the transfer window opens on January 1.
Better than Marco Reus?
The dynamic player has been deployed in both central and wide positions for Hoffenheim and has quickly become one of the most exciting players in Germany. The 23-years-old Firmino made his debut for Brazil in the 4-0 win over Turkey after an impressive start to the season.
Firmino was an almost ever-present for Hoffenheim last season, starting 33 out of 34 league games and scoring an impressive 16 goals, assisting 11. His goal tally put him on par for Borussia Dortmund star Marco Reus, who has also been linked with the elite clubs of Europe.
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European hot shot
Both Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are credited with an interest in Firmino in the same report, making Manchester United's achievement all the more impressive. Firmino looks set to be Van Gaal's first January signing in what could be a busy month at Old Trafford.
Van Gaal is also keen on signing a new central defender after injuries decimated his back line. Phil Jones and Jonny Evans have both had fitness issues while Chris Smalling has left fans aghast with his poor form.
Bad news for Januzaj
Firmino is unlikely to help in that area but he will add some flair to Manchester United's forward line and may help to get the best out of lethal striker Radamel Falcao. However, it could be bad news for youngster Adnan Januzaj.
The 19-year-old is already struggling for game time under Van Gaal and has been tipped to leave on loan in the January transfer window.
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