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Why so many in Mexico are excited about Man Utd push for Alan Pulido

Rather than stonewall the interest, everyone connected with Tigres are thrilled with Manchester United's approach for young striker Alan Pulido.

Tigres see United's move for Pulido as recognition for the results their youth system are now producing.

Still only 20 and boasting barely a full season of first team football under his belt, Pulido is already part of Mexico coach Luis Fernando Tena's World Cup squad and helped Tigres win last season's title.

Tigres spokesman Miguel Angel Garza, confirming United's approach, summed up the feeling around the club: "We are happy because there is interest in our players from such an institution.

"In the past year and a half we have received interest for certain players, but the reality is that no formal offer has been fielded for Alan."

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is leaning on the same scouting network that identified Javier Hernandez to run the rule over Pulido ahead of a potential summer bid.

It's understood United chose to make their interest public after it emerged that San Luis were looking closely at Pulido. Tigres' Mexican rivals were considering a move for the striker at the end of last season, which set the alarm bells ringing all the way to Old Trafford in Manchester.

Now that United have shown their hand, both Tigres and Pulido can focus on his football knowing if he impresses, a money-spinning deal with the Premier League giants will happen.

It's not only at Tigres where they're happy for Pulido. At hometown club Ciudad Victoria, those who grew up playing with and against Pulido remember him fondly .

José Roberto Meza, who played with Pulido at high school, said, "It's great, we take great pride at the news, it's causing great excitement.

"I think it shows that the Ciudad Victoria produces good quality players."

Another former teammate Benito Juárez also said: "I've known him since High School. He's never changed. He's a nice person, talented.

"Alan is a very strong player, is tall and is good, fast, has similar qualities to those of Chicharito, he could do well there."

Like Alan, Pulido's older brother, Armando, also learned his football in Ciudad Victoria's junior leagues. Armando is also a striker and an idol of Club Tijuana fans, where he moved after coming through the youth system at Tigres.

Tigres captain Lucas Lobos, the Argentine striker, is close to both Pulido brothers and has taken Alan under his wing since he broke into the first team last season.

Asked about United's interest, Lobos said he was happy for Pulido, but urged the youngster to keep his feet on the ground.

"I'm glad for him, we know they are rumors, you have to stay calm, nothing is certain," said the 31 year-old centre-forward.

"But he must be happy that there are such rumours, there is no doubt that he can succeed there because he is an excellent player, is a talented guy and has always excelled in our team."

Pulido has stated he'd love for Lobos to be his agent in the future, such is their relationship.

The veteran forward added: "I know him and know he's calm, it is his desire to play here too, he is aware of what is happening and what his experience is today. The good thing I see is that he isn't letting this go to his head."

And Tigres coach Tuca Feretti also appreciates Pulido's commitment.

"Alan is a very serious and focused young man. He knows where he wants to go and what is needed to get there.

"Manchester United is just interest at the moment, there's been no offer. When that happens, then we consider everything."

The last word should be left to Pulido, who doesn't feel intimidated by the expectations at United created by Chicharito.

"Every player has their qualities, Chicharito is a very intelligent forward who moves very well, looking for spaces. I am not such an out-and-out centre-forward, I come back more, but I have no less or more than him," says Pulido.

"Let's see what happens ..."

Chris Beattie
About the author

Chris Beattie

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