United keep a close eye on Oscar de Marcos

As January draws closer, the excitement surrounding the transfer market begins to build. Here’s a look at one of the more prominent rumours that has been circulating in the last few days.

According to the Daily Mirror and various other sources, Manchester United scout Martin Ferguson watched Athletic Bilbao midfielder Oscar de Marcos in action against Barcelona on Saturday. The Premier League leaders are now expected to make a fresh move for the 23-year-old after being put off by his £25m valuation in the summer.

The Europa League finalists of six months ago have struggled in La Liga this season and many of their stars are eyeing the exit door at the Basque club. Bilbao may lower the price on de Marcos considering this poor form.

Last year de Marcos caught Ferguson’s eye as Bilbao successfully knocked United out of the Europa League.  It’s expected he’d be able to leave Spain for approximately £20 million.

So far this season, the Spaniard has played 13 games in La Liga, scoring 3 times in total. He plays most commonly as a defensive midfielder. However he is adapt playing a central attacking role, on the left, on the right and at left back.  Ferguson is looking for fresh midfield legs again, with Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs coming towards the end of their careers.

De Marcos has been likened to Roy Keane in his hard-running and committed style and he has qualities that the current United squad lack. He is often praised for his defensive contribution and his crossing.

Should he make the move to United, I’d expect to see de Marcos brought moved directly into the first team squad. The club are desperately lacking a solid defensive midfield player. The likes of Carrick, Fletcher, Anderson and Cleverley all pose a more attacking threat. Without a doubt, Paul Scholes’ retirement will leave a huge hole to fill. However, I’m fairly confident de Marcos would be capable enough to replace him.

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