Transfer Rumor: Barcelona's Thiago Alcantara Off to Manchester United?

Rob Carr

The midfielder was said to be considering his options for next year. The Catalan daily Sport is now claiming Thiago Alcantara has made up his mind and will leave for the Premier League next year. Manchester United are thought to be one of the teams ready to snap him up.

Thiago Alcantara's release clause hovers around 20 million euros as the young Spainiard is shining at the U-21 Euro. With the World Cup next year, and Thiago yet to make his mark on the senior side, he could be looking for a chance to showcase his skills.

With Xavi, Andres Iniesta, and Cesc Fabregas already on the team, there isn't too much space for Thiago. Barcelona have promised him more playing time next year, but if the report is true, he is not convinced.

Thiago is studying a few teams in England who are interested in his services. Chief among them would be Manchester United, who also own another Spanish U-21 international, David De Gea.

Were Barcelona to lose Thiago, some replacement plans are being kept in mind. One is to promote Sergi Roberto from the B team and split time with Alex Song in a more advanced position to make up for the loss of Thiago.

Another is to sign a new player. Malaga's Isco, who is thought to be deciding between Real Madrid and Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund's Ilkay Gundogan, and Chelsea's Juan Mata are the main options.

Mundo Deportivo, the other sports daily in Barcelona, claims Mata is not in Jose Mourinho's plans. The sale of either Thiago or Cristian Tello would be used to finance his capture.

Would any of these replacements be a good plan? Or would keeping Thiago always be the best option?

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