Manchester United Close To Sign Barcelona Target

Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho celebrates after the match with Sergio Busquets.

REUTERS/Albert Gea

With Michael Carrick gone, every day that Jose Mourinho is bereft of a midfielder is a day wasted. The World Cup looms closer, and the unpredictability of a shortened transfer period will mean that Manchester United are placed in a precarious position.

This isn’t favored by the fact that the future of Marouane Fellaini is still not settled, and United may very well lose him too. As a result, more than one world-class midfield signing is badly required at Old Trafford.

With no credible progress being reported in the sagas of Sergej Milinković-Savić and Fred either, the Mancunian outfit may be on the hunt elsewhere too.

Don Balon reckons that United have emerged as favorites to sign Real Betis’ budding midfielder Fabián Ruiz Peña.

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The Spaniard has also attracted heavy interest from Barcelona, but the source believes the English giants to have emerged triumphant in the race. A £26.3 million offer is considered to be in the making, and deals are close to being agreed by all parties.

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The 22-year-old has been hailed as ‘the new Kaka’ and has managed to score and create nine goals this past season. Further, the central midfielder is a skilled dribbler of the ball, and has a knack for long shots, although his finishing isn’t considered to be the best.

Regardless, his passing skills and ability to create goals may be crucial to the kind of style Mourinho wishes to deploy at Old Trafford next season.

Further, in the event United are unable to pry away the requisite world-class talents from their clubs, Ruiz could potentially be a cheaper option, with the advantage of being young, and hence, a long-term investment.

But it is certain that Mourinho will need a regular match-winner at Old Trafford, and the player’s age may not assure him a regular starting spot.

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