Things are moving fast, and it seems Manchester United will have their first significant signing of the summer in Thiago Alcantara, very close to leaving Barcelona after not getting enough chances and playing time from the Spanish champions.
The moment Thiago didn’t reach a sufficient enough of playing time last season, a buyout clause in his contract was triggered, “exposing” him to a £18 million sale to another club. Before heading off to the European U-21 championship, Thiago spoke with Tito Vilanova, who made it quite clear that for yet another season, he’ll probably be a third option in the middle of the field behind Xavi and Andres Iniesta.
That did not sit well with Alcantara, who began picking up interests from other clubs – Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Bayern Munich. United have operated fast once the tournament was over, and possibly with the aid of David de Gea, did some efficient recruiting, which according to the Daily Mail, has convinced the 22 year old, who scored a hat trick in the final against Italy (4-2 for Spain), to join them.
All that’s left for United now is to settle the deal with Barcelona, as the Red Devils will try to lower the price just a bit. With Thiago himself, they’ve agreed to a £5 million per year deal to make him happy, although what the Spanish star is mostly looking for is a chance to play a lot of first team football.
While it isn’t a sure thing that Thiago will find starting consistently for Manchester United such an easy thing, he won’t have to compete with arugably three of the world’s best midfielders in Xavi, Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas, who is also slightly unsettled at the Camp Nou.
No official confirmation has come yet, but it seems that deal should be completed over the weekend, and after being part of the Barcelona setup since the age of 14, playing 101 times for the senior team and scoring 11 goals, he’ll take his first step in playing for a different team in a different league.