David Moyes will have to look elsewhere for his first major signing as Manchester United manager after Bayern Munich confirmed the signing of Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcântara for a fee in excess of €25m, subject to a medical.
According to last season’s Treble winners, the Spaniard is set to sign a four-year contract at the Allianz Arena, where he will link up with his former coach, Pep Guardiola.
Bayern will contribute just €20m towards the transfer fee, with the remainder to be made up in gate receipts from a friendly between the two sides.
Just last week, Thiago looked certain to become David Moyes’ first marquee signing of the summer, with a £17m fee mooted by The Guardian, but the 22-year-old’s faith in Guardiola appears to have won out.
The lure of regular first-team football will also have caught Thiago’s eye, something that he could not be guaranteed with the Spanish champions, despite their protestations, especially with the likes of Xavi, Andrés Iniesta, Cesc Fàbregas, Sergio Busquets and Alex Song all competing for positions in central midfield.
According to The Independent, it is Fàbregas who United will now turn their attention towards to bolster a creaking midfield that has been crying out for a creative influence. That need is especially great now, with Paul Scholes having finally retired, Darren Fletcher still out with ulcerative colitis and Tom Cleverley still not the finished article.
With Thiago on his way and Barcelona less likely to sell, it is suggested that Fàbregas could cost Manchester United almost twice as much as Bayern’s new man. And with Arsenal given the first option on their former captain at £25m, United might just look elsewhere. The best place to view the transfer and all sports markets is using a William Hill promo.
talkSPORT have suggested five players who could make tempting alternatives for the new Man Utd boss, among them Fredy Guarín of Internazionale, Arturo Vidal of Juventus, PSV’s Kevin Strootman, Valencia’s Ever Banega, and the lesser-known Argentine Ezequiel Cirigliano, who currently plies his trade with River Plate.