A report tonight out of Spain says that Barcelona's sought after young star Thiago Alcantara has rebuffed an offer from English champions Manchester United and will join Bayern Munich this summer.
Barcelona midfielder Thiago has decided to join Bayern Munich. The player would have closed a personal deal with the German club. [cope]— barcastuff (@barcastuff) July 10, 2013
Thiago, who has an 18M buyout clause, has rejected offers from Man United and Real Madrid. He would get a 4M year salary at Bayern. [cope]— barcastuff (@barcastuff) July 10, 2013
How reliable is Cope?
Cope Radio in Spain reporting that #Thiago is going to Bayern. It needs confirming but they have a reasonable track record.— Graham Hunter (@BumperGraham) July 10, 2013
Hmm. The report also stated that this move would go along with Pep Guardiola's plan to move Javi Martinez to centerback and deploy Thiago in the midfield as he moved the squad toward a 4-3-3 formation. While Thiago is without a doubt a very talented player and could blossom into a truly great one, Bayern bringing him in doesn't make any sense for the player or the club.
The reason Thiago is interested in leaving Barcelona at this time is that playing time has been hard to come by at the Camp Nou. He's being kept out of the starting 11 by 33 year old Xavi Hernandez. Barcelona does have a wealth of talent compared to most of the teams in the world but have you looked at the depth Bayern currently boast in the midfield area?
Mario Götze, Luiz Gustavo, Toni Kroos, Javi Martinez, Thomas Müller, Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Bastian Schweinsteiger, and Xherdan Shaqiri say hello from Bayern's extremely busy midfield.
Being linked with high profile players (Wayne Rooney and Neymar) this summer is nothing new for Bayern, and like those rumors, this one will probably fade away. The likelihood of this deal coming to fruition at this time cannot be very high and is probably just Thiago's agent angling for more money out of someone. However, we learned after Neymar agreed to join Barcelona that the board at Bayern had to tell Pep that they did not want to bring in Neymar and would be signing Götze instead.
So far Götze and Jan Kirchhoff are the only two players that Bayern have brought into the squad this summer. However, if you were going to bring in another player this summer would you not target a forward or defender to bolster those positions? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
[Update via Davis VanOpdorp] Pep Praises Thiago, Move Very Possible
Thiago Alcantara was the main focus of Pep's presser this morning, and he did not hide his desire to bring in one of his own.
I want Thiago Alcantara, I have told [chief executive] Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and [sporting director] Matthias Sammer that I want that player. I don’t know what will happen next. We will have to wait and see.
“It is either Thiago or no-one. I know him very, very well. He is a super, super player. He can play three, four, five positions.
“No player wants to leave Barcelona. That only happens when a player feels he will not play too much in the upcoming season.
“With Neymar, a big player has joined Barcelona. Thiago wants to play and at Barcelona his chances would be worse.”
Pep Guardiola via Stephan Ürsfeld, ESPN FC
To say that it is either Thiago or no-one is very powerful, making his infatuation for the 22-year old abundantly clear. To reiterate, Bayern have only made two transfers, one being the €37 million Mario Götze and the other being the free transfer of Jan Kirchhoff.
Thiago's buyout clause is only €18 million, so the transfer would be rather seemless. If it does happen, Javier Martínez could very well move to center back, at least according to Guardiola.
“I know he can also play at centre-back. Bastian can play in defence or in offence. I am delighted to have such a great team. Shaqiri can also play on the left or in the middle or as left back. Mandzukic can also play in defence. He is tall, strong and is good in the air. I have a lot of options."
Pep Guardiola via Stephan Ürsfeld, ESPN FC
Guardiola will find space for Thiago, whether as a super-sub or just a squad rotation player. The question becomes who will fall out of favor in the glut of Bayern midfielders.