Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Thiago: United move a non-starter

Thiago Alcantara says Manchester United never made a serious move to sign him

Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara claims Manchester United never made a serious move to sign him - despite weeks of media speculation linking him with Old Trafford.

The 23-year-old moved to European champions Bayern from Barcelona earlier this month, reuniting him with former Barca boss Pep Guardiola - the man who handed him his professional debut in 2009.

A lack of first-team appearances last year activated a clause in the player's contract which meant he could leave Barca for a reduced price, but it seems that was not enough to tempt United.

Thiago's father and agent Mazinho said on Wednesday that his son had been "very close" to joining United, but the Spain Under-21 international appeared to contradict that claim in an interview with RAC1 on Thursday.

"The truth is that in no moment did United come to us and talk to us. It came from the press, it was always a lie," he said.

Reflecting on his decision to leave Barcelona, he said: "It's unfair to say I wasn't patient. The club knew my situation. I waited for them, especially before the European Championships, but they never contacted me. I didn't feel valued.

"I wanted to compete. The club knew that I wanted to leave and they didn't do much to change that.

"Everyone looks out for their interests, I wanted to feel valued and I wanted to compete so I decided to leave the club and join Bayern.

"I was waiting and waiting all summer, there was a point when I had to decide.

"All a footballer wants is to play football and I wanted to play, they [Barcelona] didn't do much for me to stay, so here I am."