On Talking Reds , we've asked fans to submit scouting reports during the U21s European Championships. Here's the first, from message-board user Hombrados.
Player name: Thiago Alcantara
National team: Spain
Club team: Barcelona
Position: Central midfield
Age: 20 (born 11 April 1991 in Bari, Italy)
Match scouted: Spain 1-1 England, 12 June
Key moment: His all-round passing was fantastic throughout the game. In the first half he easily ran past Michael Mancienne with a very quick movement before taking a shot that went wide.
Strengths: He reminds me of Andres Iniesta. He has a great range of passing, a silky touch, he's very skilful and boasts a great energy level.
Weaknesses: His frame may be considered a little slight for the Premier League but players like David Silva have fitted perfectly into the English game, so I can't see why Thiago shouldn't be able to do that too. He doesn't have much experience so it could be a little risky to buy him as an immediate replacement for Paul Scholes. For that role, we probably need a player who is already a proven footballer.
Suitability: Eventual replacement for Paul Scholes.
Estimated cost: If Barcelona were to get Cesc Fabregas I think he could become available. I'd guess he would be cost about £15million, but that price could rise if he continues to perform like he did against England in the U21s tournament.
The views expressed in this article are personal to the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Manchester United.