Thiago insisted he wouldn’t follow Guardiola to Bayern Munich

by Sam Peoples

Rewind to January 2013.

It has just been announced that Pep Guardiola will take over from Jupp Heynckes as Bayern Munich manager at the end of the season.

Almost immediately, the ex-Barcelona manager is linked with raiding his former club for some of their most talented players to stamp his own identity on the German side including Thiago Alcantara.

But the 22-year-old midfielder distanced himself from a move and insisted that he had no plans to leave for Munich.

“I am here in Barçelona, playing for the best club in the world, so I don’t plan to leave for Bayern,” Alcantara told reporters at a press conference.

“It is really good news that Pep Guardiola has come back to football.

“He made history at this club and he gave too many things to football. Now, he can do the best for Bayern.”

“He will focus on young players and, although each club has its own style, they can do it, because Bayern has many very skilled players.”

“Thiago is the only player I want, that’s what I told them [Bayern board]. It will be him or no one.” Pep Guardiola

Today, Guardiola labelled Thiago as the only player he wanted to sign this summer as the 22-year-old’s transfer from Barcelona took a twist.

So, does Thiago still have no plans to leave for Bayern? A lot has changed between now and then.

The Bavarian side finished the season as treble winners, trouncing Barcelona 7-0 over two legs in the Champions League on the way, and Thiago’s release clause was dropped to €18 million due a lack of game time in Catalonia.

The midfielder also enjoyed a fantastic U21 European Championships that culminated in victory with Thiago being named Player of the Tournament.

He now looks set to leave Barcelona and on paper, Munich ticks a lot of the boxes. In Guardiola, Thiago would be playing under the manager who knows his game inside out and he’d be joining the champions of Europe, which all sounds rosy.

But if game time is Thiago’s prerogative, then a move to Bavaria over United isn’t logical.

At Munich, Thiago would be in precisely the same situation as he is at Barcelona in the pecking order. He would have to fight for his spot in the first team and would not be in a better position than he would if he remained at the Nou Camp, so he would have no reason to leave.

Guardiola has insisted he would be prepared to put Javi Martinez back in defence to open up a spot for Thiago but given that Martinez/Schweinsteiger was the best central midfield partnership last season, a partnership that was integral to their treble success, it would be a strange decision indeed.

Jupp Heynckes’ Munich adopted an evolved version of Barcelona’s tika-taka football that incorporated a physical element to it. The slick possession football was there but it was backed up by a bit of brute force and physicality that proved so effective, as Barcelona found out the hard way.

Why would Bayern’s board allow Guardiola to take a step back towards the philosophy that Munich crushed by signing Thiago?

One major aspect that raises suspicion over a move to Munich for me is that Thiago wants a release clause in his contract that guarantees him game, much like what he currently has at Barcelona. At Munich, that wouldn’t happen as CEO Karl Heinz Rummenigge previously insisted such clauses don’t exist in their contracts.

To me, Guardiola’s comments are more an indication that Munich aren’t close to signing the player. There would be no reason for him to polish Thiago’s ego so much if the club was already at an advanced stage of negotiations, which is a good indication that United still stand a strong chance of signing him.

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Macson leo 07/12/2013 - 12:42

Thiago alcantara iz nt leaving barcelona fc,coz he wnt 2 play 4 d best club in world

stewart 07/12/2013 - 12:18

your right I don’t want any player who is money motivated at united! I think that’s why rooney hasn’t signed a contract yet because he wants the same contract he is on! but with wayne he is our star our rock, but he needs to prove he is worth it. if he does that this year I say give it to him!

all you not united like fans! need to lay off moyes because its not his fault. This was happening way before moyes got here.

We had sir alex to bail us out now we have moyes and in moyes I trust, further more in sir alex decision to appoint moyes I trust!

we need to sack whoever concludes our transfers because lets be honest its a joke! and the glazers should stop milking our money and help with our transfers because if this carry’s on it will only make everyone’s job that bit more difficult and we WILL get left behind!

BUT we will always score and will always win trophies! mufc!!

Eddie 07/11/2013 - 20:26

I agree with the above comment. I have been telling my mates for the best part of 3 weeks, if Thiago, wants to become a red devil then nothing could have stopped him, but obviously he had his heart set somewhere else, ‘Pep at Munich’ most probes. That is the reason I believe, and claimed to mates, which has delayed the transfer. I also agree, Man Utd should only sign players who want to join and play for United with pride, we don’t need the money grabbing ‘donors’ in Hazard and Moura who sign for clubs for silly fees and personal demands like ‘sign my little brother’ as was the case in Hazard!

Uwazzy 07/12/2013 - 08:42

You are very right ! we do not need these money hungry players . Moura is an OK player , Hazard is better ( We couldn’t defend against him last season ) but I would take RVP over them any day and anytime .

I agree that United is the best in the country and makes news sell but United must understand that outside England , south american , spanish and german players rate UNITED equally with other big clubs ( BAYERN , JUVE, MILAN , MADRID ) and it is the reality , they aren’t english so can’t fully understand and appreciate the united culture.

So little things would sway them towards making a decision .for instance, It is easier for a jack wilshere to choose over UNITED and Barca than for a Thiago to choose over UNITED and Bayern.

I see thiago in the light of ronaldinho and I believe that every United Fan would have always loved Ronaldinho to put on a united jersey . ( And if we say Ronaldinho”s attitude was poor , we have fixed worse players . Wayne rooney pops to mind )

realist 07/11/2013 - 16:52

also. i think we utd fans get a bit carried away when talking about lost players. personally im glad we missed out on ronaldihno, hazard and moura. in a nutshell their attitudes are not right, and we should only be buying players who believe they are joining the best club in the world. if we had signed ronaldihno we would not have got ronaldo….if hazard had anything about him, imo, he would have wanted to join utd over chelsea for so many reasons but he didnt. maybe wages played a part, money?….who knows, same goes for moura, if they want to go to money rich psg, good, we dont want these players, at least we didnt with fergie in charge and im pretty confident things will be the same under moyes.
1 major last point for you doom mongers to be able to get a bit of perspective……we, UNITED are the big news in this country in case you had not noticed, so naturally we are going to be linked with more big name players than most other clubs in the world let alone england, with the exception of the money no object madrid and other clubs owned by wealthy business people. it also sells papers to say we have missed out again, who really cares if the sun writes about chelsea or city missing out on players apart from the clubs fan? for us to ‘miss out again’ is bigger news as all of our fans read it and moan, and all ABU fans read it and get all excited and think that our status is waining….laughable!
just chill out guys and stop being doom mongers. if we sign him like i really hope we do, and will, great…if not, no big deal……..’HE’ obviously wanted to go somewhere else for whatever reason….would you rather we bent over backwards to sign players at any cost regardless of the motives and commitment?

Chris O'connor 07/11/2013 - 18:55

I agree 100% people seem to forget how we won the league last season we walked it ,but we also struggled against Chelsea’s midfield,and if I know that I am pretty sure David Moyes knows it as well and as he said everything is being done ,we just need a bit of faith in the gaffer and we need to stop believing all these press reports !

realist 07/11/2013 - 16:41

people like you who say sell him sell him sell him sell him and sell him as well make me laugh!

MK 07/11/2013 - 16:08

I can’t help but feel like the majority of Utd fans…disapointed. As a club we have a problem closing deals for high quality players. For some reason they never come off. Sneijder, Moura, Hazard…Everytime we go in for a player of that callibre I can’t help but feel like something will go wrong.

Looks like the same squad as last year then including a Wayne Rooney who deoesn’t want to be there…

gift tabu (@gift_tabu) 07/11/2013 - 15:57

i agree with you Tom. Man Utd some do something to absorb thiago

Uwazzy 07/11/2013 - 15:54

Honestly , I am very disappointed with the way Manchester united have gone about this transfer . It was very clear that it would take abnormal circumstances for Thiago to leave Barca . The prospect of getting better playing time was the only reason that would have convinced him and we should have sealed the deal long ago instead of allowing rumors of Chelsea and bayern to come into it .

Finally guardiola has spoken and compared to Mr David Moyes’ voice, any Thiago in the world will prefer to listen to a PEP ( No disrespect to the BOSS but with time he would build his own REP) .

I just feel bad because right from time the speculation was too good to be true . We are about to loose another potential football great just like we lost Ronaldinho and it is likely to set us back sometime again. It would have also given a lot of credibility to Mr Moyes and I would be gutted so much when Bayern signs him .

Honestly , I would be emotionally exhausted because I have anticipated this all summer and refreshed my browser endlessly checking all united related websites praying for good news .

Next time , we shouldn’t dwindle too long on a transfer , if you want him , you get him . The manager flies down with every meaningful exec and seals a deal . SIMPLE .

LUCAS MOURA PART 2 ( This time , a far greater player )

There is only ONE UNITED

red astair 07/11/2013 - 16:08

I agree, if he was interested we should have done everything to sign him. Giving the benefit of the doubt to David Moyes, then maybe Thiago wasn’t that interested. This would perhaps explain why there has been so little activity on this one from Utd.

Mark 07/12/2013 - 01:07

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, if we do not activate the release clause we can’t buy the lad. If we wanted him that badly we would have activated ages ago. What are we waiting for? Maybe just a foil for some other big named player? Then again I am probably dreaming. Oh, there we go, just fell out of bed again. Another dreary day in transfer land.

Res 07/11/2013 - 15:53

The quote is from a press conference last january

Tom 07/11/2013 - 15:08

I actually disagree. I think Pep is talking confidently because he has an agreement with Thiago, but probably not with Barcelona yet. Sadly I think we will suffer more heartbeak with this one and another top young player will reject Man Utd. Last summer it was Hazard and Moura, so Thiago is in good company. There must be something about Man Utd puttin players off signing for us, maybe stability and regular success in not sexy enough for young foreign players.

Kingsley Dua Akyea 07/11/2013 - 15:02

What’s United waiting for? If We bought Wonnabies Like Jones and Young for
almost £20 Million, Why not quickly a Player with Footballing intelligence Like Thiago?
Sell Ferdinand, Evra, Anderson, Nani, Macheda, Fletcher, Bebe, Wootton and Welbeck,
For Nicolas, Thiago, Baines, Fellaini, Ezequiel and Benteke to Help United,
Making Europe, Our Footstool.
United forever.

dessie 07/11/2013 - 18:03

stick to fifa you smelly plastic cunt

red astair 07/11/2013 - 14:57

The quote ” I am here in Barcelona, playing for the best club in the World, so I don’t plan to leave for Bayern”, says it all. Substitute Bayern for Man Utd and maybe we get somewhere near the truth of what’s really happening. Things change, of course, but it doesn’t really sound as if he’s planning to leave Barca at all.


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