Despite Barcelona’s assurances to Thiago Alcântara that the 22 year old would receive regular playing time this season, it appears the midfielder is ready to sign for Manchester United.

The £17 million move could be completed perhaps as early as this week and is believed to be a five year deal that will drastically improve Alcântara’s current £30,000 a week contract.

United are gearing up to depart Wednesday on a three week pre-season tour of the far east where the club will travel to Thailand, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong.

While the deal for Alcântara is unlikely to be completed before the team’s departure, the 22 year old could meet up with his new teammates somewhere during their travels, assuming his fitness is up to snuff. There’s no reason to believe it won’t be.

Alcântara is fresh off of captaining Spain Under-21 team to the Euro 2013 championship, where he produced a number of spell-binding performances, headlined by the hat-trick he notched in the 4-2 victory over Italy in the final.