Manchester United are accelerating their interest in Moises Caicedo as part of a new transfer strategy, claims a report.
Reports emerged over the weekend suggesting that Caicedo had become the latest target for United as they look to build for the future.
The midfielder is only 19 years old but is already a full Ecuador international – and has even scored for his country.
It has been claimed that Ed Woodward has already opened talks over a potential deal for the Independiente del Valle starlet – who has admitted that United are his favourite club.
Now, the Manchester Evening News has backed up those rumours, explaining how a deal could go through in the New Year.
The MEN reports that United want to sign Caicedo in January. If he obtains a work permit, he will be able to join them in 2021.
The report explains that United are now focusing their recruitment drive on the most promising teenagers in world football, rather than their previous focus on long-term targets between the ages of 23 and 28.
For example, they signed Facundo Pellistri in the summer and also agreed a deal in advance for Amad Diallo. Pellistri has been building up experience in the Under-23s, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is yet to make a plan for Diallo when he arrives.
The Red Devils boss said recently: “With Amad, hopefully we can get him in and we’ll see how the squad looks and how he looks and how he settles as soon as possible.
“They’re both talented players that we believe will have a long career here. It’s important we find the right time.”
Cavani deal an exception to the rule
A deal for Caicedo would represent another shrewd move for a young player. That is now the core strategy for United in the transfer market.
They may have signed veteran striker Edinson Cavani in the summer, but MEN sources explain that was simply a “pragmatic and opportunistic” deal that does not represent a change in strategy.
Therefore, the focus remains on young players – potentially pointing towards a deal for Caicedo.
Reports have suggested that the teenager could cost around £5.4m, plus other clauses. West Ham have also been linked with the player.
Caicedo has scored four goals from 22 league games this season. He cites Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante as two of his role models.
He said recently: “I really like the game of N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba. I learn a lot from them every time I see them. I always try to do what they do – that’s why they are there.”