Manchester United Transfer News: Thiago Alcantara Would Make Club Title Favorite

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJuly 5, 2013

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - JUNE 18:  Thiago Alcantara of Spain during the UEFA European U21 Championships Final match between Spain and Italy at Teddy Stadium on June 18, 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images

While Barcelona has been adamant that Thiago Alcantara will remain at the club, signs continue to point toward the 22-year-old midfielder leaving for Manchester United.

And what a signing it would be for the defending Premier League champs.

On Tuesday, ESPNFC reported that a deal for Alcantara was "very close." According to the report, Alcantara's "camp have been much more positive than at any point over the previous ten days."

Sports daily AS reported that Alcantara's father, Mazinho, has put his Barcelona restaurant up for sale. 

And, curiously, Barca recently put a team photo up on Instragram...with Alcantara cropped out, per AS.

Even Barcelona's denial hasn't been that convincing.

Club spokesman Toni Freixa said on Tuesday, via the ESPNFC report: "There's no news [regarding Thiago]. He has a contract and didn't say anything, so he's still a Barca player now."

I'm no psychologist, but saying "he's still a Barca player now" seems to imply that there's a chance he could be leaving later, doesn't it? Plus, cropping Alcantara out of the team photo was a very odd move by the club...or perhaps telling.

Alcantara is just what United needs to defend its Premier League title and beyond. The youngster would patch up a weak link in the middle of the field, which will be needed if United expects to legitimately go after the Champions League trophy. United hasn't won the Champions League since the 2007-08 campaign, placing second in the tournament twice since then.

It makes sense for Alcantara, too. He's been languishing behind Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas at Barcelona, receiving only 15 starts last season in La Liga. As much as he may like it in Barcelona, he's at a point now where he needs to be given the opportunity to show what he can do, and he's not being guaranteed a starting spot from Barca.

The signing of Alcantara would not only help United vie for the Premier League and Champions League trophies now, the club could also be dangerous for many years as the 22-year-old develops.

If David Moyes and Co. are able to land Alcantara, it should be met with great applause from the United faithful, for it could be a stepping stone toward another Champions League trophy for the club.


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