Manchester United are in pole position to sign Thiago Alcantara, but the Barcelona midfielder could remain at the Camp Nou.
United are believed to be close to signing the 22-year-old, but he may be going nowhere if guaranteed playing time by Tito Vilanova.
Reports suggest Thiago’s release clause is around 17 million pounds, and United are prepared to offer him significantly better than the 30,000 pounds a week he earns now.
Thiago came through the youth ranks at Barcelona and would become David Moyes’ first major signing at United should he join.
Xavi, 33, has been considered ahead of Thiago for a starting place at Barca but the Spain star is entering the twilight of his career.
The likes of Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas also kept Thiago to just 15 La Liga starts in 2012/13.
Even if United miss out on Thiago, they desperately need to strengthen their midfield as they aim to defend their English Premier League title.
Michael Carrick needs support in the centre of the park and Thiago would provide it.
Bayern Munich and Manchester City are also believed to be interested in Thiago.
Meanwhile, United look to have been beaten by Chelsea to the signing of Vitesse midfielder Marco van Ginkel.