Moyes coy over Thiago links

There are still five weeks to go before the start of the 2013/14

Bundesliga season, but Hamburg’s director of sport Oliver Kreuzer

has already lost his patience with his team.

Speaking after Hamburg lost 2-0 to Wacker Innsbruck in a

pre-season friendly, Kreuzer warned his players to pull their socks

up, otherwise they risk another uphill start to the season after

making one of their worst starts on record last year.

“You can’t just think that we’re coming to Austria for a short

break and having a light workout against an Austrian first division

side,” he said.

“As a Bundesliga side, it’s not on to present yourselves like

this. I hope this was the last time.”

Anybody who does repeat such a lackadaisical performance my find

themselves on the transfer list, according to Kreuzer, who is

looking for excuses to lower the wage bill.

“Our priority is to reduce the size of our squad,” he added on

Sport1.de.

Rumours that Thiago has opted to quit the Nou Camp in favour of

a £17million move to Old Trafford in order to maximise

his chances of making Spain’s World Cup squad next summer have

circulated for some time now.

However, so far, the transfer has not been concluded and Moyes

opted not to offer any specific updates when he met the media for

the first time.

Reports have emerged in Spain, though, that representatives of

both clubs will meet next week to finalise the transfer.

Thiago is available at a cut-price £17million as he

did not feature in the number of first-team games stated in his

Barca contract and it is claimed will sign a five-year deal to

become Moyes’ first significant capture since replacing Sir Alex

Ferguson.

“Manchester United will always be close to the best players,”

Moyes told MUTV.

“I will inform the supporters as much as I can.

“Some things are confidential but I am doing everything I

possibly can to strengthen the current English champions.”

The deal could be rushed through in time to make Thiago

available for the start of United’s pre-season tour on

Wednesday.

However, given the highly-rated player’s successful run to the

European Under-21 Championship final with eventual winners Spain,

he may not be called up for the first part of the three week

expedition to the Far East and Australia anyway.

It does appear Wayne Rooney will be involved though, with club

sources last night reinforcing Moyes’ public statement of the

27-year-old not being for sale.

However, with Ashley Young, Chris Smalling and Nani all doubts

for the first game against Singha All Stars in Bangkok next

weekend, Moyes has confirmed the tour may provide an opportunity

for a couple of youngsters.

Eighteen-year-old midfielder Adnan Januzaj seems the most likely

inclusion, having made the bench for last season’s final game, the

epic 5-5 draw at West Brom, although goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, Tom

Thorpe and Larnell Cole were all part of the England Under-20 squad

for the recent World Cup tournament in Turkey.

In addition, defender Michael Keane has been capped by England

at Under-21 level, although twin brother Will missed all last

season with a serious knee injury.

“I don’t know if it is useful to be away for three weeks but it

is useful in terms of getting to know the players,” said Moyes of

the tour, which features visits to Sydney, Japan and Hong Kong in

addition to the opener in Thailand.

“They will get to know me and how I work, which is

important.

“There are also two or three young players I might get a chance

to look at.

“I am looking for (reserve team coach) Warren (Joyce) to give me

direction on that and who should be pushed towards the first

team.

“Maybe in some of the games I will have the opportunity to

seeing them.”