United’s acquisition of Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara appears to be edging ever closer with reports that the player’s father, Brazilian world cup winner Mazinho, has already met with Old Trafford officials. The only issues preventing the youngster from signing on the dotted line appear to be Barcelona launching a last-ditch attempt to convince the Spanish under 21 star that his future lies at the Nou Camp.
The problem for Barcelona is that while a talent such as Thiago would no doubt command a start in any side’s team, the La Liga champions currently boast three of the best midfielders in the world vying for what is essentially two places, meaning guarantees are hard to come by. Andreas Iniesta, Xavi and Cesc Fabregas are three of the finest midfielders on the planet and when you consider the fact that Sergio Busquets is the one Barca player who does the ball winning in midfield then Thiago’s options seem limited.
Will the Barcelona hierarchy really be able to convince Thiago that he’s destined to be anything more than a bit-part player next season? It’s seriously doubtful although they could persuade him that with youth on his side, he is the long term future of the club. Football is a fickle mistress however and it’s a short career, so you have to wonder whether a talent as bright as Thiago will settle for anything less than immediate importance.
Thiago appears to be United’s to lose, let’s just hope he doesn’t have a change of heart.