Manchester United touched down in Bangkok today to start their pre-season tour of Asia, but manager David Moyes will have received some bad news as soon as he stepped off the plane.
It is being reported in Spain that United target Thiago Alcantara will be snubbing the Red Devils in favour of joining up with his former manager Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich.
It had been thought that the 22-year-old had chosen Old Trafford as his likely destination as he pushes his claims for inclusion in Spain’s World Cup squad next summer, with his opportunities at Barcelona limited due to the current midfield holding the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas.
However, Moyes will be disappointed to hear that he may be heading to the Champions League winners instead, with Guardiola confirming today that he is looking to add Thiago to his already talented squad.
"Yes," Guardiola told reporters in Germany when asked if he was interested in Thiago.
"I don't know what's going to happen. We have to wait. But I know him very well. He is a super, super player.
"He can play in three, four or five positions."
"It is either Thiago or nothing," he said.
Moyes had hoped to bolster a rather thin midfield that has lost Paul Scholes to retirement, and an unclear future over both Darren Fletcher and Anderson. The news comes as a blow to the Reds, who are yet to make any significant moves in the current transfer window.
The potential fee for Thiago had been rumoured to be around the £17m mark, and it would have been a large sign of Moyes intent as he tries to convince United fans that he is capable of filling Sir Alex Ferguson’s rather large boots.
United have not made a significant addition to their central midfield since they signed Michael Carrick in 2006 from Tottenham, with the England international proving a key figure in last season’s title run.
Anderson has suffered from injuries since his arrival in 2007, having only made 98 league appearances compared to Carrick’s 206. Fans have cried out in recent years for a world class midfielder, and it had seemed that Thiago would be their man, but once again Guardiola has waved his magic to lure the Spaniard to Munich.