Thiago drama proving what a disaster buying Alex Song from Arsenal was for Barcelona

Barcelona signing Alex Song last summer could just have caused them to lose Thiago Alcantara to Manchester United.

Alex Song made a late switch from Arsenal to Barcelona last summer, and while his departure has been problematic for the Gunners in that they are yet to really replace him, it has not been disastrous.

Mikel Arteta's adaptability has temporarily at least solved the problem, and ironically it is the aggressor in the transfer pursuit which may have actually been left with the biggest headache by the transfer.

Barcelona wanted Song to replace Seydou Keita in the squad who had departed for the Middle East, a bit-part player they really did not need to replace especially at a cost of £15 million.

The decision to purchase Song, who was voted as one of the 'flops of the year' by readers of Spanish paper Marca midway through the season, is proving rather costly to the club.

The principle reason for it, is not for the lack of impact the Cameroonian international has made, but for the fact he has pushed Thiago Alcantara towards the exit door.

Alcantara was the hat-trick hero in Spain's second successive European under-21 Championship Final, confirming his status as Europe's hottest midfield property.

This is in relation to an €18 million release clause in his contract, a snip for a player of his quality which has alerted Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Chelsea.

It has been activated due to the fact he played in under 60 per cent of Barcelona's games, making just 15 starts.

Alex Song, bought from Arsenal made 17 starts, more than Thiago - with the club pressured to play him to justify the price tag to bring him in.

While not like for like players, as Barcelona shuffled the pack to include the ex-Arsenal man, it's clear that Thiago would have had more opportunities in a cluttered midfield had Song not been around, and may just have edged over the mark which would have avoided the potential for his release clause to be triggered.

If does transpire that Thiago leaves Barcelona, unhappy fans may just resent the signing of the former Gunner even more so than at present.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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