The 22-year-old midfielder has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford, but AC Milan are reportedly ready to step into the equation and offer a good deal to sign him from Barcelona.
In terms of stature and history, both clubs are very similar and while many may consider United a better move, Thiago doesn’t have any English preference, which means a move to Serie A is just as likely.
The young man has so far done very well not to be drawn on talking about the apparent interest from United, but he has admitted that he could review his situation at Barcelona after the Under-21 European Championship this summer.
“I enjoy it in Barcelona because I have lived through some great times but we will see what happens after the Euros. Any player is used to living with rumours about him,” he told reporters.
It may come down to squad status and how he’s likely to be used away from Barcelona with a new team in a league he doesn’t know.
A United transfer is more likely to reflect his current status at Barcelona in the respect that he’s not an automatic first choice pick in the first team.
United have a clear need for a creative and forward thinking midfielder in their squad but there is no guarantee that he would play every single week at Old Trafford under David Moyes.
You also need to look at the context of how Serie A finished this season. Milan were 15 points behind the winners Juventus, which frankly isn’t good enough for a club of their size and the expectations they demand.
That could trigger Milan into seriously re-shaping large areas of their squad to try and reduce that gap to Juventus by the time the new season starts.
Financially there’s not going to be too much difference between United and Milan because both clubs can offer a good fee and both can offer a very competitive wage deal.
Thiago is a young man so if United want to have the best possible chance of signing him, they simply need to play to his youthful enthusiasm to just play football.
They can offer him a solid basis on which to perform and push for a Spanish senior squad place, but they have to guarantee him football.
They have to guarantee him the chance that he’ll get more football than he’s getting at Barcelona; just 15 starts in La Liga over the whole season.
If the interest from United is real then they need to act quickly because Milan could spoil this for them, as it’s not a smaller or lower profile club coming seriously into the equation.
Do you think he’ll end up at United?
image: © castroquini2011