Man Utd close to midfielder deal with Ed Woodward set to seal first January transfer

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Manchester United are closing in on the signing of Ecuador international Moises Caicedo. The 19-year-old, who currently plies his trade for Independiente del Valle has emerged as one of the brightest prospects in South America and his reputation appears to have enticed United’s recruitment team.

Caicedo is a box-to-box midfielder who has already been capped four times by his country, following his debut earlier this year.

In October he became the first player born in the 21st century to score in CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying when he netted in the 4-2 win over Uruguay.

It’s not the first time that United have decided to shop in South America, where their scouting network is clearly working to great effect.

Facundo Pellistri arrived from Penarol on deadline day and although he is yet to feature for the first team, the youngster has already made a huge impression behind the scenes at Carrington and for United’s Under-23s.

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According to the Manchester Evening News, United are closing in on Caicedo and the star is likely to have already played his last game for Independiente del Valle.

The deal is expected to be worth around £5.4million (€6m) and may also include a 20 per cent sell-on clause.

Personal terms are not expected to be a problem given that this would be a dream move for Caicedo, who could become the 12th Ecuadorian to play in the Premier League.

Reports in his homeland suggest the transfer is as good as done.

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United have made a clear alteration to their transfer policy in the past few months and have now decided to go after the world’s hottest young talent.

The club are also expected to complete the signing of Amad Diallo from Atalanta in January, in a deal worth £27m.

Should Caicedo join United, he would become only the second Ecuadorian to wear the famous red shirt in their history after Antonio Valencia.

United are said to have consulted their former captain for a second opinion on Caicedo.

Valencia joined the Red Devils from Wigan in 2009 and was a great servant to the club where he won two Premier League titles, two League Cups, an FA Cup and the Europa League in 2017.

He was also crowned United’s Player of the Year in the 2011/12 season after Sir Alex Ferguson’s side narrowly missed out on the Premier League title to rivals Manchester City.

The 35-year-old was released by United at the end fo the 2018/19 campaign after 10 years at the club and joined Ecuadorian side Liga de Quito on a free transfer.

At the end of November, Valencia completed a move to Mexican side Queretaro.

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