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Transfer Rumours

Spanish star set for United?

Thiago AlcantaraBarcelona have held “crisis talk” with Thiago Alcantara, in a last-minute bid to stop the midfielder from joining Manchester United, with whom he has apparently reached an agreement, today’s newspapers report.

Thiago has been involved in a tussle between United and Barcelona for almost a month now, with reports either confirming an agreement with United or categorically denying he ever intended to leave the Camp Nou. Today is no different, with the Daily Mail claiming that Spain U21’s captain has agreed a deal with United and the club is confident to finalise the £17m transfer in the coming days.

Thiago is expected to receive £5.5m a year, however Barcelona are desperate to keep hold of the 22-year-old, reports the Mail, and are likely to promise him to be the cornerstone upon which the Barca of the future will be built. Quite how the Catalan club is expected to hold “crisis talk” with Thiago considering that the player is on holiday is anyone’s guess, but the Mail isn’t the sort of newspaper that would let details get in the way of a juicy story.

While we are talking about a juicy story, they don’t come much juicier than the alleged secret meeting United and Cristiano Ronaldo are expected to have this week. Both, the Mirror and the Mail report that the Real Madrid star “could be on his way back to United” after Spanish newspaper El Pais broke the story.

The story can only be taken with a pinch of salt, particularly considering that the meeting was supposed to be secret and its details have now been splashed onto the back pages of every newspaper in England and Spain, with both parties obviously likely to deny any involvment.

Should Ronaldo ever return to Old Trafford, he won’t find René Meulensteen, as the former first-team coach has left the club, thus becoming the last of Sir Alex Ferguson’s staff to depart Old Trafford as David Moyes is thought to be willing to bring in his own staff, as reported by the Guardian.

“I would like to thank Sir Alex Ferguson, the owners, all colleagues, players and fans who made my time at Manchester United very special and one I will never forget. I wish everyone at this great football club all the best,” said Meulensteen, while executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, paid tribute to the former coach: “I’d like to thank René for his contribution to the club, particularly since he returned to Old Trafford in 2007. He has been first-team coach for five years and in that time has given great assistance to Sir Alex Ferguson and Mick Phelan in keeping the team at the top of the game not only in this country but in Europe as well. On behalf of everyone at United, I wish him well for the future.”

Good luck indeed, René.