Manchester United have received a boost in their alleged pursuit of Roberto Firmino following reports that Hoffenheim are willing to sell the attacking midfielder this summer.
The Bundesliga outfit are understood to have already lined up a replacement for the Brazil international in the form of Goias forward Erik, fuelling speculation he's set to leave the Rhein-Neckar-Arena.
Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal is keen to add more creativity to his Old Trafford squad next season and is willing to pay out £18.6 million for the 23-year-old's signature, according to the Daily Telegraph.
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Firmino scored a brilliant chipped goal against Borussia Dortmund in the German Cup on Tuesday night but was unable to prevent Hoffenheim from crashing out at the quarter-finals after losing the match 3-2.
However, the South American playmaker's performance will have been noted by Manchester United scouts as they prepare to make their move when the transfer window reopens.
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Brazil manager Dunga recently stated his belief that Firmino could play for any team in the world after he netted the decisive goal for his country to help them beat South American rivals Chile at the Emirates Stadium during the recent international break.
As a relative newcomer to the Selecao squad the Hoffenheim ace did not feature at the 2014 World Cup last summer, but earned his call-up after a number of eye-catching displays in Germany for Markus Gisdol's side.
Manchester United are not the only English admirers with Premier League rivals Arsenal also considering an attempt to lure Firmino to north London, with the Daily Mail reporting last month that Arsene Wenger has been very impressed with his progress over the past 12 months.
Clyne over Alves
Louis van Gaal has decided to prioritise the summer signing of Nathaniel Clyne over Barcelona defender Dani Alves after making the Southampton full-back his first-choice replacement on the right side of Manchester United's defence.
The England international has been pushed up the Red Devils' pecking order of possible targets and now looks set to follow former Saints team-mate Luke Shaw to Old Trafford.
Falcao set to feature against City
Colombian striker Radamel Falcao is hoping to play some part in this weekend's Manchester derby after missing out the last time the Red Devils met Manuel Pellegrini's side.
The AS Monaco loanee has not started a game for Louis van Gaal's side since February but remains hopeful of featuring for Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.
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