United's shock bid for Spain and Barca hero
Published 22:59 26/06/11 By Alan Nixon
Sir Alex Ferguson has made a £15million offer for Barcelona youngster Thiago Alcantara.
The Manchester United boss wants the star of Spain’s European Championship Under-21 side in an outright cash deal – but Barca are reluctant to sell to a Champions League rival.
United’s offer is bigger than any other interested club and Fergie made his move before Thiago’s stunning 45-yard free-kick strike in the Euro final at the weekend.
Barca would like to farm the midfield prodigy out to a Premier League club, but want a buy-back clause, which United will not agree to.
Thiago is unlikely to play often for Barca next season, a problem that is troubling coach Pep Guardiola who does not want to lose him long-term.
The 20-year-old would be ideal to replace Paul Scholes at United but Barca are desperate to see him go somewhere else.
Fergie cannot even get between the player and the club to win the day – his agent is Guardiola’s brother Pere.
Barca would put Thiago in the Cesc Fabregas deal with Arsenal if they can have a recall on him – a plan that’s not much use to the Gunners as the talks for their skipper drag on.
Bizarrely Bolton Wanderers, who have been on Thiago’s trail for over a year, may have a chance as they are prepared to take him on Barca’s terms.