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United look to Barca stars

1357859002326Over the last couple of seasons, Sir Alex Ferguson’s well documented reluctance to recruit a midfielder became a cause of frustration for many Reds, with United’s engine room often falling short in big games due to a lack of physicality and technique. Things, however, could soon change.

The Mirror today reports that David Moyes has made Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara one of his priorities, after sending scout Jim Lawlor to Israel to monitor the progress of Spain U21’s captain at the European Championships and, at least according to the tabloid, United have already begun talks with Alcantara’s dad.

The £15m-rated playmaker is not the only Barcelona midfielder on United’s radar, with the Daily Mail claiming that United are “increasingly confident” of securing the signing of Cesc Fabregas after “being given private encouragement”. A clause in Fabregas’ contract means Arsenal have first refusal on the Spain international if he decides to leave the Nou Camp, but the Mail claims “United are understandably confident that Old Trafford may prove more attractive to a player who spent eight years with the London club.”

The Fabregas to United rumour finds room on the Times, alongside with reports according to which Dortmund are ready to sell Robert Lewandowski to United, rather than letting him to go to arch-rivals Bayern Munich. The Mail is also on the story as are the Mirror and the Sun, with both red tops claiming that Dortmund are willing to accept a bid in the region of £25m for the Polish striker.

Dortmund’s chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke said: “The Bayern case is closed, because there was no written offer. If Robert wants to go to Munich, he will have another chance next year.

“I am not saying he will definitely stay but he will certainly not be playing for Bayern in 2013.”

Both tabloids agree that Lewandowski’s arrival would increase the pressure on Wayne Rooney, who has been advised by Jose Mourinho to seek happiness rather than financial retribution, as reported by the Independent and the Sun.

The newly-appointed Chelsea manager offered his advice to the United striker: “I think he [Rooney] is at a fantastic age for a player: maturity, big experience, still young. It’s up to him and what he wants, what makes him happy. He’s a little bit like me: he doesn’t need one more pound in his contract. One more cup won’t make a different. Be happy. Where is he happy? Where will he find more happiness to have ambition and drive him? I like him as a boy. I wish him well and hope he is happy.”

Meanwhile, the Mail reports United have turned down a £6.5m offer for Nani by Galatasaray, Doncaster are trying to secure Nick Powell on loan and the Star claims David Moyes will turn to Southampton’s Luke Shaw, should he fail to sign Leighton Baines.