Transfer speculation: Manchester United remain in hunt for Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara

A swap deal involving Wayne Rooney has been suggested

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The Independent Football

Manchester United are said to have a “good chance” of signing Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara according to reports.

There is also speculation that the 22-year-old Spain international could be allowed to move Old Trafford along with David Villa with Wayne Rooney going in the opposite direction.

David Moyes is yet to make a major signing since replacing Sir Alex Ferguson and is understood to be eager to bolster his midfield options, particularly now Paul Scholes has retired for good.

Alcantara is one of the best prospects in Europe, shining during Spain's triumph at the Under-21 European Championships earlier this summer. While he has been given assurances over regular playing time, the presence of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas will likely mean chances remain limited at the Nou Camp should Alcantara remain.

Scoring a hat-trick over Italy in the Under-21 final was a signal of the attacking presence Alcantara could offer United.

Manchester United are due to depart on their tour of Thailand, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong this week, and Moyes is reportedly eager to try and secure a deal before Wednesday.

A deal involving Rooney would be complicated and likely take longer to agree than the next couple of days. Moyes said last week that the England striker would not be sold, although was unable to confirm the player had given assurances he wanted to remain at the club.

Both Arsenal and Chelsea are interested in signing Rooney, however United have a policy of not selling their best players to their rivals. If the striker forced a move away, they could be more willing to allow him to go abroad.