Transfer speculation: Manchester United 'close' to securing transfer of Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara

Spain Under-21 captain has grown frustrated with lack of first-team appearances alerting David Moyes who could make £17 million swoop to bring him to Old Trafford

Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara is reported to be considering a summer switch to Premier League champions Manchester United.

The Spain Under-21 captain could move to Old Trafford for £17m due to a release clause in his contract. Barcelona have tried to persuade the 22-year-old to remain at the Nou Camp, but a lack of first-team appearances last season has triggered both his desire to play regular football and the appearance-based clause.

With Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Cesc Fabregas occupying the midfield for much of the year, Thiago – seen as one of the rising stars of Spanish football – is determined to play more regularly than he is currently afforded by coach Tito Vilanova.

United’s new boss David Moyes is a fan of the Barca player, and the club’s chief scout Martin Ferguson gave his recommendation that they should pursue the services of the youngster.

Barcelona have assured Thiago, whose father is World Cup winner Mazinho, that he is a future leader of the team, and they will be determined to avoid another Fabregas-esque situation.

Fabregas left Barcelona for Arsenal as a 16-year-old academy player, but soon made his name as one of the world’s best midfielders.

When Barcelona wanted him back, they had to part with around £30m to see the Arsenal captain return to his childhood club – a situation they would like to avoid with Thiago.

United have also been linked with making a move for Fabregas, though this was later dismissed by the player himself. But it seems they have turned their attentions firmly towards his fellow midfielder, who led his Under-21 side to World Championship glory this month in Israel scoring a hat-trick in Tuesday's final against Italy.

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
News
Bill O'Reilly attends The Hollywood Reporter 35 Most Powerful People In Media Celebration at The Four Seasons Restaurant on April 16, 2014 in New York City
media It is the second time he and the channel have clarified statements
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola, writes Ian Herbert
News
people
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn