- Posted June 23, 2013 by
Manchester United set to sign Strootman, Thiago and Garay
Manchester United are expected to complete the signings of Kevin Strootman, Thiago Alcântara and Ezequiel Garay. United have been in very positive negotiations to bring the players in.
Talks with PSV to bring Kevin Strootman are at an advanced stage and Manchester United have made substantial progression for the Dutch International, with a move imminent. Although Strootman's current contract at PSV runs till 2016, PSV have already identified his replacement with Stijn Schaars, another Dutchman that currently plays for Sporting Lisbon in Portugal and is ready to return to his homeland. Although 5 years older than Strootman and with the retirement of Mark van Bommel, Stijn is viewed as the perfect replacement, adding more experience and bringing leadership to the side. A deal in the region of £15m for the Dutch Under-21 Captain is close, with United, PSV and Strootman all happy with what's on the table and the announcement of the deal expected very soon.
United have also agreed personal terms with Thiago, with the club offering the player a 5-year deal, and willing to triple his current wages offering him a package of £5m per annum. Barcelona are trying to convince Thiago to stay, with the promise of more first team football. He had been told to be patient, however, the advice has fallen on deaf ears and the Spanish champions are looking to negotiate a first refusal option in the agreement should United ever decide to sell him. United will most likely reject this in the final agreement and have met the buy-out clause for the Spaniard and will this week expect to conclude a deal worth £15m rising to £17m. United have also promised Thiago that he will be an integral part of the first team, prompting him, his father Mazinho and agent Pere Guardiola to conclude the deal after they met club officials last week before returning to Barcelona on Friday.
United and Benfica endorsed a 'gentleman's agreement' earlier in the year that would allow the Argentinian defender, Garay to join United in a deal worth £17m. Real Madrid will command part of the transfer fee, which they agreed with Benfica before he joined them from the Spanish club. Benfica's recent signing from Estoril, 26 year-old Canadian born defender Steven Vitória is seen as the direct replacement for the Argentine defender. Lisandro Ezequiel López, another Argentine defender will also join Benfica this week.
Chief Scout Jim Lawlor and retired Martin Ferguson, brother of Sir Alex Ferguson, have watched all three players several times. These players were targets of Ferguson and David Moyes cosigning his predecessor will sanction their acquisitions.
A club source said: "David Moyes does not officially take on the United manager's role until 1 July and so he has been juggling a few things, which has perhaps slowed the process down."
Moyes is also expected to return from his holiday this week. His first task will be to clarify Wayne Rooney's United future ensuring the player stays, and reassuring him of his importance to the first team and that he is a key player in the squad.
As a new era begins at Old Trafford, Moyes will look to put his stamp on the team. United’s Premier League opening five fixtures against Swansea, Chelsea, Liverpool, Crystal Palace and Manchester City respectively, may not be the start he had hoped for. However, the addition of the aggressive and imposing figure of Kevin Strootman, the creativity, speed, vision and eye for goal of Thiago and the combative nature and defensive assurances of Garay, will ensure that Moyes has the right players to begin Manchester United's title defense.