Manchester United Transfer News: Latest on Thiago Alcantara and More

Tim KeeneyContributor IJuly 10, 2013

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - JUNE 18:  Thiago Alcantara of Spain celebrates his team's second goal during the UEFA European U21 Championship final match between Italy and Spain at Teddy Stadium on June 18, 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel.  (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Manchester United is coming off its fifth Premier League title in seven years and staggering 22nd-straight top-three finish, yet there is still work to be done. 

As the saying goes, pobody's nerfect. 

The Red Devils have enjoyed a remarkable run of success as one of the elite clubs in the world, but after a second-straight disappointing finish in the Champions League, it's apparent that improvements are still necessary.

As such, although we are just 10 days removed from the opening of the transfer window, frustration is beginning to settle in from Manchester. Guillermo Varela remains the lone signing, and as you'll soon see, a few potential superstars have slipped away. 

Nevertheless, it's not the time to panic. 

New manager David Moyes is still getting comfortable, and as he told talkSPORT, "Don't be kidded by the lack of activity. Take it from me, we are working hard behind the scenes to try and improve the squad."

So, yeah, keep that in mind with the following developments.


Thiago Alcantara Beginning Preseason with Barcelona

A week ago, it seemed imminent that Thiago Alcantara would soon be roaming the midfield in a Manchester United shirt. 

Now? It seems far less likely.

In an interview with Radio Catalunya, via Sky Sports, Barcelona spokesman Toni Freixa said, "We have the players we have, and Thiago is one of them. Preseason with us begins as scheduled."

It's not exactly damning evidence. But if Alcantara begins preseason with the Catalans, the odds of him leaving the Spanish side are going to decrease significantly. 

Unfortunately for United, this appears to be another close-but-no-cigar story, evoking memories of the painful Wesley Sneijder saga. 

It's especially disappointing considering Alcantara's talent. Built in the mold of many other world-class Spanish midfielders, the 22-year-old is a playmaker in every sense of the word, capable of keeping possession and stringing together accurate pass after accurate pass.

His inclusion would have served as a massive boost to United's midfield. 


Robert Lewandowski Headed to Bayern Munich

According to Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp, star striker Robert Lewandowski, just like pretty much everyone else, is set to join forces with the club's Bundesliga rivals, although it won't happen for a year. 

The Daily Mail's John Drayton has the news from Klopp himself:

'I think it is a known fact that Robert is going to play for Bayern after the upcoming season,' he told Welt am Sonntag. 'Now the only question is how to shape the time until then.

'That is our concern and it is our commitment to our fans and members to ensure that we will have a more competitive team in the upcoming season.

'Up to a certain point we were with Robert's desire for change and were ready to talk. But nothing happened so we had to eventually say: "[A sale] now no longer works for us."

'And now we want to prove that, with a quality player like Robert, we can be successful in the coming year. Our results in the coming season is what we're all about. I know that Robert and I see it the same way.'

Whether Lewandowski joins Bayern Munich or not, it's pretty clear he won't be making the switch to Manchester United this summer. 

This development, however, shouldn't be nearly as disappointing.

Not only was Lewandowski never seen as realistic of a target as Alcantara, but United already boasts a strikeforce that features Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck.

The need for the Polish international, no matter how dangerous of a goalscorer he may be, isn't overwhelming. 

Although United's lack of activity continues, there is still plenty of time and a slew of talented players on the market, so it's far from time to sound the alarm.