It seems that the comparison and imaginary battle between Tiago Alcantara and Cesc Fabregas that has been going on under the surface at Barcelona continues, this time as Manchester United are trying to decide between the two players as to which is the one they should try and sign this summer.
When Barcelona signed Fabregas in 2011 from Arsenal, there were quite a few who mentioned that his arrival wasn’t at all necessary due to the rise of Thiago through the Barcelona ranks, and that Cesc’s presence has halted the progression of the Spain U-21 star, who is hoping to get enough playing time to be included in the senior squad for the 2014 World Cup.
Thiago has played 81 matches over the last couple of seasons for Barcelona, usually coming off the bench or starting in cup matches with little consequence. Fabregas has played 98 times for Barcelona over that course of time, obviously being a more significant part of the lineup, although he has his own reasons to be unhappy.
For Manchester United and other clubs, the news of Thiago suddenly becoming available for a reasonable fee, considering he’s a young star that grew up in Barcelona and has already appeared 3 times for the Spanish national side, has been welcomed with joy, knowing that he can be acquired for only £15 million “thanks” to Barcelona not playing him enough.
Fabregas feels he hasn’t been used sufficiently as well, also feeling a bit left out – either out of the lineup or from his position, by the presence of Xavi and Andres Iniesta, who leave no room for growth under them as they continue to stranglehold the two central midfielder positions.
David Moyes is more interested in trying to bring Fabregas to Old Trafford, but his price (£30 million) and the fact that he still isn’t too sure he wants to give up on trying to become a more consistent and successful player for Barcelona, not to mention Barca not too keen to sell him right now, might direct United towards the younger option.
Thiago isn’t promised more playing time with United or any other big club he might find himself playing in, but a change of scenery and a better chance to play more minutes is what he’s looking for, which probably has bigger odds of happening if he leaves Barcelona.