Manchester United are ready to raid their Europa League conquerors this summer, as Sir Alex Ferguson looks to rejuvenate his midfield.
United have been linked with Javi Martinez and Iker Muniain in recent weeks, and according to the Mirror, Ferguson is now preparing a bid for Bilbao midfielder Oscar de Marcos.
The 22-year-old scored in both legs of the European tie against United and has subsequently been watched by Old Trafford scouts Martin Ferguson and Jim Lawlor. The two of them have been very impressed with Bilbao man.
De Marcos can operate centrally or in a wide position, equally effective in either. He combines terrific vision with excellent technical ability, and like all Bilbao players, he works his socks off.
The article suggests that Ferguson sees him as a replacement for Paul Scholes, but I imagine he will deployed higher up the pitch, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Scholes decided to stay on another year.
De Marcos’ valuation is another stumbling block. Bilbao only recruit players from the Basque region of Spain, so replacing him may prove difficult, and for that reason they have apparently slapped a £26 million price-tag him.
If United are going to spend that sort of money on someone, it would more likely be Bilbao skipper Martinez, or exciting winger Muniain.
I presume that United scouts have been at Bilbao games recently, but who they were watching is anyones guess. Bilbao have a number of talented young players at the moment, and the fact that they are faltering in La Liga means they might have to lose one or two in the summer.
Their win over United has boosted their profile, and Spanish football’s ‘Barcelona light’ are not such a secret anymore.
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