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Manchester United transfer rumour: Jose Mourinho targets Barcelona's 'next Iniesta', Carles Alena

Sumedh Pande
2.16K   //    22 Nov 2016, 16:34 IST
Carles Alena
The youngster Alena started against Espanyol in the Catalan Super Cup last month 

Manchester United have always produced world-class homegrown talents and the current young crop of youngsters Marcus Rashford and Timothy Fosu-Mensah are a testament to that tradition. United are currently reeling in sixth spot in the table after a 1-1 draw with Arsenal as Jose Mourinho has already planning to make some signings in the next transfer window. United scouts are reported to be impressed by Barcelona teenager Carles Alena and the club are now keeping tabs on the 18-year-old.

Alena was on the substitute bench as Barcelona drew 0-0 against Malaga which now put them four points behind league leaders, Real Madrid. The youngster was included in the first-team squad at the last minute as Lionel Messi missed the game through illness. Though he remained an unused substitute, he has been on the bench three times this season. Alena travelled to face Manchester City in the Champions League but failed to make the final squad. The teenager is expected to play next week as Barcelona play Hercules in the Copa Del Rey.

Jose Mourinho is said to be impressed with the creative midfielder who likes to play in an attacking midfield role but is also comfortable on the flanks. His playing style has brought comparisons with Andres Iniesta as Alena is being dubbed as the next Spanish maestro. The youngster who captains the Spain U19 squad is rumoured to be in talks with Barcelona over a new deal with the club offering a further four years on his current contract and a buyout of around £43million which will ward off potential suitors.

Alena has been a regular in Barca's first team training and guessing by his presence on the substitute bench, it is evident that Luis Enrique has him in his plans. The youngster is also said to be eager to make his name with the club that he has been associated with since he was eight years old a and wants to follow the path of his idols, Andres Iniesta and Rivaldo by playing for the European giants.

Many youngsters have taken a move to England from the prestigious La Masia academy at s very young age which includes the likes of Gerard Pique, Cesc Fabregas and Hector Bellerin. United have their work cut out if they want to sign one of the best talents to emerge from the Catalan club in recent times.

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Sumedh Pande
An avid Premier League watcher with specialization in transfer news and post match analysis. Follow European and Indian football with minute attention with one eye on the world of cricket.
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