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Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund agree fee for Shinji Kagawa

(FILES) A photo taken on April 21, 2012

(FILES) A photo taken on April 21, 2012 shows Dortmund’s Japanese forward Shinji Kagawa during the German first division Bundesliga football match Borussia Dortmund vs Borussia Moenchengladbach in the German city of Dortmund. German football magazine Kicker reported on May 29, 2012 that Japan star Shinji Kagawa is set to join English giants Manchester United for 15 million euros ($18.8 million) with the deal almost complete. AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOF STACHE (Photo credit should read CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/GettyImages)

AFP/Getty Images

It looks like it’s a done deal. Shinji Kagawa is on his way to Manchester United. The estimated price: £18 million ($27.5 million). The only aspects left to iron out are the player’s physical and securing a work permit. Neither should be an issue.

Kagawa is only 23 years old and fits a desperate need for Manchester United, whose midfield was inexplicably weak by title-contending standards. That they got Kagawa for a decent fee may allow United another midfield purchase, provided his wages aren’t unexpectedly insane (one report had his salary coming in at half of Eden Hazard’s). While United is set at nearly every other spot, central midfield could use at least one more signing.

We went into the pros of Kagawa last week, but one angle we held off on was the implications on the English Premier League. While it will be hard for Roberto Mancini to ask for more out of Manchester City than what he got last year, Manchester United’s team was highly flawed and highly unhealthy. Time will help with the health concerns, while the acquisition of Kagawa helps address the former.

Is it naive to think this acquisition pushes United past City given the teams ended with the same point total?

Should Manchester City respond? Or even better: How could Manchester City respond? When you look at their starting XI, there aren’t a lot of places where they can improve, and the improvements they’d need would be very expensive. Mancini may be left asking that hard question: Can you (the players) give me more?

For Borussia Dortmund, the loss isn’t that big of a deal. Mario Goetze was back by the end of the season, while Marco Reus will be joining the team from Borussia Moenchengladbach. They’ll have more than enough options in attack.

Kagawa wanted to move. Given Dortmund paid less then $500,000 to get him from Cerezo Ozaka, the sale is quite a coup for BVB. Everybody should be happy.