Cesc Fabregas has had a hard time making at impact at Barcelona since moving from Arsenal, and if Manchester United sign Thiago Alcantara, he might have a little less competition at the Camp Nou in the future.
Cesc Fabregas will have been under no illusions about the level of competition for places at Barcelona when he moved there from Arsenal a couple of summers ago, with Xavi, Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta rated as the best midfield unit in the world.
However he might not have expected to find it so difficult to make an impression at his boyhood club, and it looks like it will not be until Xavi retires that he gets a chance to really stake a claim for a first team place in the heart of their midfield, rather than playing in the more advanced role that has seemingly been engineered to get him into the team.
There is on man in particular who could rival him for that spot in the future, but that competition might be removed if Manchester United manage to prise 22 year old Thiago Alcantara away from Barcelona this summer.
Like Fabregas, Thiago has found his first team opportunities limited at Barcelona, and with the World Cup in Brazil coming at the end of next season, he is hoping to secure a place in Spain’s squad, and has indicated he would be happy to move in order to do this.
Manchester United have reportedly been interested in Thiago for two years, and if the rumours of a £15million price-tag are correct, you could see them moving for the player this summer in order to bolster their somewhat meagre central midfield resources.
Xavi has urged Thiago to be patient at Barcelona, but that is easy for someone who has won everything at both club and international level to say, and it is not hard to imagine why Thiago sees his future elsewhere, as even when Xavi returns, he will have to compete with Fabregas for a place.
For Fabregas, the removal of the threat of Thiago might make him feel a little more confident about his future at Barcelona, and line him up clearly as the successor to the imperious Xavi.
image: © ins11thiago