EXCLUSIVE: United step up De Marcos chase
Published 22:31 18/04/12 By Alan Nixon
Manchester United are stepping up their bid to sign Athletic Bilbao’s £26million-rated midfield dynamo Oscar de Marcos.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is sending his top spy to watch the powerful prospect in the first leg of Bilbao's Europa League semi-final against Sporting Lisbon in Portugal on Thursday.
De Marcos has shot to the top of United’s wish list - as the Mirror revealed earlier this month - and Fergie wants to get a complete dossier on the 22-year-old before he starts trying to wrestle the star away from the Spanish club.
United view De Marcos as ideal for their midfield, which has only fired this season since the return of Paul Scholes.
The Bilbao star was outstanding against them as Marcelo Bielsa’s side triumphed in the Europa League's last 16.
De Marcos has a fixed fee written into his contract and United will have to go to that figure to get him, so Ferguson wants to be absolutely sure before asking the Glazer family to spend.
However as United are unlikely to need to be recruiting many players this summer, they will put aside a chunk of money to improve the midfield - and De Marcos is their current first choice there.
Meanwhile, United are handing young midfielder Davide Petrucci a new three-year contract - to stop the Italian walking out.
Petrucci has been stuck in the reserves and could have left for a small fee in the summer if his current deal had expired, but he has now agreed new terms.
However, he may be loaned next season if he does not make the breakthrough to the first-team squad.