After weeks of speculation, Manchester United target Thiago Alcantara is on his way to Bayern Munich.
After the German club’s sporting director Matthias Sammer had previously declared that no deal was done, just a few hours later those headlines were irrelevant.
A statement from Barcelona declared: “FC Barcelona and FC Bayern Munich have reached an agreement over the transfer of the player Thiago Alcantara to the German club for a total of €25million."
The fee is slightly higher than the 22-year-old’s release clause – which avoids the tax issues previously reported. But was it enough to put United off a deal? Or was the lure of Pep Guardiola too good to turn down?
Claims from Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague last night suggested David Moyes was not convinced the player could hack it in the Premier League; although all signs – not least the faith shown in him by Guardiola – suggest he is a superstar in the making.
One player who certainly can perform in the English top flight is Cesc Fabregas; and with the Thiago story seemingly complete, it is back to reports of a possible United switch for the former Gunner.
We thought this one was over, not least because Fabregas has previously rubbished the suggestion of a move. And in truth the departure of Thiago makes it even less likely the Spanish champions would part with another midfielder. But for now the stories remain.
And finally, Wayne Rooney’s future may be a little less rosier than he had envisaged, following reports the club have no immediate plans to offer him a new contract. While Moyes no longer sees him as an automatic first-choice.
The possibility of Robin van Persie getting injured means Moyes has no intention of parting with the England international.
But if reports are true that the Dutchman and Shinji Kagawa will be the new manager’s first choice attacking duo, Rooney may have to get used to cameo roles in the campaign ahead.
image: © ins11thiago