PICTURE: Bayern's cheeky nod or glimpse at what United might have had

Thiago Alcantara

Bayern Munich's Instagram post in preparation for the quarter-final against Manchester United showed a summer target under the Red Devil's crest.

Considering the presence of Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich, his former charge Thiago Alcantara was never likely to move to Manchester United, even when his departure from Barcelona was all but certain.

For weeks, United fans woke up to headlines declaring that they were on the verge of bringing in the highly-rated Spaniard. But ultimately – as with similar stories surrounding his former teammate Cesc Fabregas – it was not to be.

Thiago has gone on to overcome a serious injury and become a vital cog in Guardiola’s Bayern side, while United have struggled for consistency in a season of transition. But now the two clubs will go head-to-head in the quarter-final of the Champions League, giving United fans a glimpse of what they missed out on.

And could Bayern have given a cheeky nod to that very fact in a recent Instagram post?

The reigning European champions posted a picture in anticipation of the next round with the two clubs’ crests and two players underneath them. But while Mario Gotze was found under the Bayern crest, Thiago was seen under United’s.

In short, the image was not so much a hint at a battle between two sides, but a reminder that Bayern possess two of the most exciting young midfield talents currently playing the game.

It was also a pointer to what might have been, if those numerous headlines had proved to be anything more than false prophecies…

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