Manchester United join race to sign midfielder Barcelona have identified as Sergio Busquets' replacement: Reports

Barcelona and Manchester United to face off for highly talented Belgian midfielder
Barcelona and Manchester United to face off for highly talented Belgian midfielder

Manchester United are reportedly prepared to rival Barcelona for the signing of highly-rated Belgian midfielder Arthur Vermeeren. Still 18 years of age, Vermeeren currently plies his trade for Royal Antwerp and is believed to have a high ceiling.

According to reports in Spanish outlet El Nacional (via Football365), Manchester United and Barcelona could go head-to-head for the signing of the young midfielder this summer.

The Catalan giants see him as a long-term replacement for Sergio Busquets and have been tracking the youngster for some time now. They also believe that he will come much cheaper than their primary midfield targets Ruben Neves and Joshua Kimmich.

Manchester United, on the other hand, have only recently entered the race. Manager Erik ten Hag is reportedly a fan of the midfielder and has asked the club's board to get the deal through.

Vermeeren isn't expected to cost more than €10 million despite the fact that he will have three years remaining on his contract with Royal Antwerp after this season. The centre-mid has so far made 32 appearances for the club's senior team across competitions, scoring once and assisting twice.

He has also represented Belgium at the under-19 level and has been tipped to make the switch to their senior side in the near future. He only made his senior debut for Antwerp earlier this season.

Sergio Busquets set to end 18-year association with Barcelona this summer

Legendary midfielder Sergio Busquets, who joined Barcelona's youth side in 2005, is set to leave the club this summer. The Spaniard announced his decision to leave Camp Nou earlier this month through a Twitter video.

He said:

"It has been an unforgettable journey. Since I was a child coming to the matches, or watching them on TV, I always dreamed of playing with this shirt at this stadium.
"The reality has exceeded all my dreams. I wouldn't have believed you if you told me when I arrived as a youth player that I would play 15 seasons for the best club in the world, the club of my life, of which I have been, and always will be a fan, member, player, captain, and surpass 700 matches."

Busquets made 721 appearances for Barcelona's first team, scoring 18 and assisting 45 goals. He won nine La Liga titles and three Champions League trophies with the club among other honors.

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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