Catalan press source Sport has suggested a Manchester United bid for Barcelona's Thiago is imminent with the player due back at the Nou Camp on Monday.
The Barcelona midfielder is due to return to his former club on Monday to report for official duty which could make it slightly more difficult for David Moyes to secure the youngster.
United have been linked with Thiago for most of the summer as he’s made it clear he’d be open to an Old Trafford switch, which would represent the chance to play significantly more football than he is being offered at the Nou Camp.
The reason United need to try and push the deal through quickly is because once Thiago is back at Barcelona, the club have various forms of access to him which they can exploit to try and get him to stay.
That can come in two different forms; players and coaches.
There could very well be similar situations to what we saw recently with Gerard Pique urging him to stay with the Spanish giants.
The difference is that new urges from players will come at a more personal and direct level.
If the more experienced players at Barcelona can sell him the idea that it would be a terrible decision to move away from the club, it will be a seed that grows in the back of his mind.
The coaches, most notably manager Tito Vilanova, will also have the chance to ease any fears he has over his role at the club and the playing time he gets ahead of the World Cup next summer, which seems to be his biggest problem at the moment.
He seems to want assurances that he will be used alongside the likes of, and instead of, Xavi and Andres Iniesta, the key midfield pairing around which Barcelona have built so much of their success in the recent past.
Catalan press source Sport has suggested that United will be looking to trigger his buy-out clause before the weekend, making a formal offer which will leave them free to talk to the player if it’s accepted.
David Moyes has already stated that it’s touch and go over whether he will actually get new players in through the door before the club jets off for the pre-season tour of Asia.
However, if he’s made it clear that he wants Thiago, and there’s every suggestion that’s the case, officials at the club will be working away behind the scenes to get the deal in place regardless of the fact the boss and the team won’t be in Manchester.
For now Moyes is focusing on the players he does have and getting them prepared for the pre-season schedule but the way things are panning out, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Thiago is linking up with them at some point during the Asian tour.
When do you think United will officially make their move for Thiago? Will they?
image: © castroquini2011