Manchester United are on the brink of losing Spain’s under-21 midfielder Thiago Alcantra to Bayern Munich.
It had been thought the European Youth Championship winner had opted to join United since deciding to move away from Barcelona to get more first team appearances.
But the 22-year-old midfielder is now poised to link up with his former manager Pep Guardiola at Bayern.
Guardiola has confirmed his interest in bringing Alcantra to the Allianz Arena. He was quoted as saying: “I want Thiago Alcantra. I have asked Bayern to get him but I don’t know what will happen. Thiago is the only player I want, that’s what I told them.
“It’ll be him or no one. We have many players but we need the special extra quality that Thiago Alcantra brings.
“I know Thiago very well. I talked to Rummenigge and Sammer about him, we will and then see.
“I don’t think another midfielder will be a problem for us. I spoke to club about my concept and told them why I want Thiago Alcantra. I give my opinion , but I listen to the board. If they say no, that’s okay.
“Nobody will leave Barcelona, unless they feel they won’t play much. He wants to play. That’s why I proposed him to the club.”
This will be a big blow to David Moyes who had hoped to use the player to beef up United’s midfield lacking the retired Paul Scholes and for whom the futures of Darren Fletcher and Anderson in particular are uncertain.
It had earlier been understood that a £17m deal can be concluded with Alcantra believed to have provisionally agreed terms on a five-year contract.
Moyes agrees to the fact that “there has been a lack of activity” with the midfield and probably the defence in dire need of bolstering. As the club jet off on their pre-season tour of Asia and Australia, the club may have to speed up negotiations towards bridging the present gap in the team.