Thiago Alcantara

Still busy with the Euro U-21 (playing in the final), Thiago Alcantara seems convinced his future isn’t with Barcelona, but somewhere else, where he’ll hopefully get more minutes. The clubs lining up to sign the talented player?  Manchester United and Bayern Munich.

According to Sport, Thiago was looking for assurances from Tito Vilanova before travelling to play in the European Championship in Israel, but didn’t like the manager’s plans for him next season. Not all details were revealed, but in short, Thiago didn’t hear what he wanted to, which is he’ll be getting more minutes than last season. He played in a total of 36 matches last season, coming off the bench in 16 of them.

Due to the lack of minutes, Thiago has a release clause in his contract that now makes him available for €18 million. The funny thing is that a couple of years ago, before he became a substitute and filler for any reason in the Barcelona lineup, his potential alone might have gotten him off the Barcelona team for that fee. Now? That’s not so certain.

With Xavi and Andres Iniesta in the lineup, Thiago is looking towards another season in 2013-2014 in which he’ll have to wait to either come off the bench or cross his fingers for someone to get injured in order to get a substantial shot.

Manchester United have been looking at the situation quite closely since the summer began, and if there’s one team that’s likely to make an offer for him, it’s them. Bayern Munich, with Pep Guardiola, who gave Thiago his first chance with the senior team, are also taking note of the situation.

But playing for either Manchester United or Bayern Munich doesn’t seem like the best way to get minutes, especially with the European champions, who have Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez in the middle. The team might change their styles a little bit under a new head coach, but it’s hard to see Thiago fitting in the projected lineup at the moment. His chances with United might be a slightly better, but not by much.