GERMANY: Pep wants Thiago

Germany

Barcelona’s highly-rated midfielder Thiago Alcántara’s seemed to be all set to join Manchester United, but over the last 24 hours we have found out that his future may be about to take an unexpected turn.

20130711 - Thiago Alcantra

Spanish radio station COPE announced that Champions League winners Bayern Munich had entered the race for the 23-year-old and were in pole position to sign the player.

According to the radio station, Thiago has rejected offers from Manchester United and Real Madrid in order to work again with former Barca boss Pep Guardiola. New Bayern coach Guardiola has reportedly told him he would play a key role in Munich next season, with fellow Spaniard Javi Martínez switching to the centre of defence, where he played in his final season at Athletic Bilbao.

Thiago would receive a reported salary of €4 million per year at the Bavarian club and speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Guardiola confirmed he wanted to sign the Spanish Under-21 captain, who he brought into the Barcelona side back in 2009.

He stated: “I would like Thiago to come here. I have asked the club to sign him but there is nothing new to report on the negotiations. We will see what happens.

“I don’t think the club would have a problem in signing him, Sammer and Rummenigge (Bayern directors) know my opinion and they know why I want to sign him.”

Guardiola is hoping Thiago will leave Spain’s La Liga champions to increase his chances of making next summer’s World Cup. The Catalan coach believes the fact that Thiago is keen to play regular first team football is why he wants to leave the Camp Nou: “Nobody will leave Barcelona, unless they feel they won’t play much. He wants to play. That’s why I proposed him to the club.”

Bundesliga champions Bayern have already signed Mario Götze from rivals Borussia Dortmund, and have also confirmed that Dortmund’s Polish striker Robert Lewandowski will arrive in Munich at the end of next season.

Guardiola continued to specify that although he was happy with his squad, he still wanted to sign the Barcelona midfielder. “It’ll be him or no one. Thiago is the only player I want, that’s what I told them.”

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