Whilst hiring Jose Mourinho this May was a step in the right direction for Manchester United, it’s clear from watching the Red Devils so far this season that more work and more new faces will be required to get the club back on top, both domestically and in European competition. The Portuguese has instilled a more attractive, attacking style during his short time at the club, which is welcome after two years of Louis van Gaal’s conservative, possession-based philosophy, and the emergence of Ander Herrera, the purchase of Paul Pogba and the rebirth of Antonio Valencia has made sure that this season, despite several disappointing results and a less-than ideal position of sixth in the Premier League, has a few positive aspects to it.
Of course, the work that needs doing is likely to take on greater significance as the weeks tick by towards the next two transfer windows and more focus is given to United’s deficiencies. At least in goal, the club have no worries thanks to David de Gea, but in defence, question marks are everywhere, not least at centre back where Eric Bailly has been the only standout performer. Then there’s the question of what to do up front, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic likely to be of use for a maximum of two seasons and Wayne Rooney past his best.
Then there’s midfield. Pogba’s return and Herrera’s emergence as a key man for Mourinho has helped immensely, but with Michael Carrick close to retirement, and the club lacking a playmaker/orchestrator in the middle of the field, thoughts can turn to who will be able to help bolster United’s midfield in the years to come.
With that in mind, the Sunday Mirror think they information of a potential star that is firmly in United’s sights; Barcelona’s Carles Alena. The Catalonian is 18 years old, and currently captain’s Spain’s U19, but it seems as though his club are already aware of the growing interest surrounding the player and wish to tie down a young man that could make up for the eventual loss of Andres Iniesta:
“Barca are in talks over a new deal with Alena, with the club offering a further four years on his current contract and a buyout of around £43million.”
As such, any deal is likely to be incredibly difficult. Still, Barcelona are used to losing their young promising talent to other teams on the continent due to being unable to offer them a route to the first team. Both Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique had success in England having left Spain before they returned to Camp Nou several years later; perhaps Alena is the next in line for such a move if his route to the first team is blocked.