Because Barcelona haven’t played Thiago Alcantara enough times this season (25 league matches, 34 in all competitions), a release clause in his contract has been triggered, which means any team offering €18 million can sign him. According to reports in Spain, both Manchester United and Manchester City are very interested in the player.
The son of former Brazilian international Mazinho, Thiago has been with Barcelona since 2005, joining the club at the age of 14. He has helped the Spain U-17 and U-21 side win European championships in recent years, and has been a part of the squad for Barcelona in their last two league titles, scoring 7 league goals so far in his career.
Rumors from the Camp Nou suggest that Tito Vilanova doesn’t think that Thiago is the future for Barca in the midfield, although there are differing opinions on whether or not he can inherit Xavi as the team’s playmaker in the near future. It is worth remembering that Xavi wasn’t even a starter for Barcelona when they won the Champions League in 2006, and became acknowledged as one of the best midfielders in the world only in the last five-six seasons, entering his 30’s.
Both Manchester City and Manchester United are looking for a more creative spark in the middle of the pitch, which Thiago can certainly bring, although consistency and an ability to be a threat on goal has yet to be seen from the 21 year old, who usually plays as a central midfielder but doesn’t bother himself with too many defending duties, which will probably be part of the program should he join one of the Manchester sides.
While at United, looking at their current squad, Thiago might find it easier to fit in the lineup quickly enough, the things are a little bit more difficult at Manchester City, although both clubs are probably going to see some change in tactics, not just names, with new managers coming in.