Bayern Munich have completed an agreement with Barcelona to sign Thiago Alcantara, as confirmed by the club on its Twitter account.
OFFIZIELL: Transfer von Thiago Alcantara (22) von Barcelona zum FCB perfekt! Bayern zahlt für Guardiolas Wunschspieler 20 Mio. ^M.Hörwick— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) July 14, 2013
AS is reporting that the deal is for €25 million and includes a clause that the two clubs will take place in a friendly.
BREAKING: Thiago seals Bayern move for 25 million euros. The deal includes a friendly to the played between the 2 sides— AS English (@English_AS) July 14, 2013
Thiago had spent his entire senior career with Barcelona. He appeared in just over 100 matches for the club since his debut in 2008. His quest for more consistent first-team football led him to test the transfer waters and a deal with Bayern.
The 22-year-old Spanish international is coming off of a strong display of form in the UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship. He helped lead the football powerhouse to its fourth title in the event, notably scoring a hat trick in the final triumph over Italy.
Although it served as a breakout tournament for Thiago, his immense upside was known well before he led Spain to another trophy. He's long been viewed as a midfielder with the potential to become one of the best in the world.
He combines terrific vision with improved playmaking skills and good pace to create an ideal central midfielder. A player doesn't start his career with Barcelona and follow it with a move to Bayern Munich unless his skill set is through the roof.
Thiago certainly fits the bill.
The move to Allianz Arena comes as Thiago sets his sights on playing for Spain in next year's World Cup. He needs consistent playing time in order to impress national team coach Vicente del Bosque, which may not come easier in the cluttered midfield at Bayern.
Will Thiago live up to the hype with Bayern?
Of course, Barcelona is also stacked with talent in the midfield. Veterans Andres Iniesta and Xavi lead the charge, and while Thiago would have eventually replaced one of those stars at Camp Nou, the timetable remained unclear and he decided to seek a move.
The rising star marks another major signing by new Bayern manager Pep Guardiola. The former Barcelona boss knows what Alcantara is capable of doing in the midfield. The young talent has the benefit of knowing Guardiola's style of play already, which will serve him well as the rest of the squad tries to learn the intricacies of the system.
However, he'll have a tough time finding him somewhere to play, as the team already has Mario Goetze, Thomas Muller, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos, Javi Martinez and Luiz Gustavo already in the fold.
Hopefully, the 22-year-old will get the consistent playing time he needs to blossom into an elite player and put him in contention to join Spain in Brazil next year.