Manchester United sources have stated to ESPN that a deal for Thiago Alcantara is now "very close", as the club feel the situation has taken a positive turn over the past few days.

One Old Trafford official admitted that the process had often been frustrating and likened it to the negotiations for Wesley Sneijder in 2011.

The difference is that there is now a much stronger sense that the move for the Barcelona midfielder will end up successful. There is a tentative hope that they may even be able to announce the transfer at David Moyes' first press conference as United boss.

Spanish newspaper Sport reported on Monday that one of the remaining stumbling blocks was Thiago requesting a similar contract clause to that which he has at Barcelona, whereby he would be allowed to leave for a set fee if he did not make a required number of appearances - it is understood this clause is indeed being sought.

Moyes, meanwhile, has been particularly vocal behind the scenes about pushing the transfer through. Additionally, the most recent soundings from the player's camp have been much more positive than at any point over the previous ten days.