Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcântara has been linked with a transfer away from the Camp Nou ever since his €18 million buyout clause became public, with English Premier League champions Manchester United rumoured to be the favourites to secure his much-coveted signature. According to multiple reports, both from Spain and England, Thiago has grown disillusioned with life at the Camp Nou due to a lack of playing time, and as a result, could be tempted by a move abroad with the 2014 World Cup on the horizon.
With regular playing time at a different club, Thiago reportedly believes that he could break into the Spanish squad – and his rumoured transfer to Manchester United could be confirmed as early as today (Friday), when new United manager David Moyes gives his first press conference at 16:00 GMT (17:00 Barcelona time).
Moyes is also likely to confirm Wayne Rooney’s future, with Barcelona bizarrely linked with a swoop for the England striker; early reports from England suggest that Rooney will, thankfully, be staying put in Manchester after "showdown talks" with his new coach. Perhaps this revelation – if true – could factor into United’s potential deal with Thiago? If Rooney is staying at Old Trafford, he has likely received assurances from Moyes regarding his role with the team, and in all likelihood, this means that he will continue to occupy the space just behind Robin Van Persie in the United attack. Would this have any bearing on Thiago’s potential role in Manchester?
There are also suggestions from Spanish newspaper AS that the two clubs (Barcelona and Manchester United) are yet to agree a fee for the talented midfielder – as the €18 million release clause would only represent roughly half the cost of any transfer for United, once relevant taxes are factored into the equation. As is always the case with a transfer involving Barcelona, it appears that this saga could well drag on a little longer yet...