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Thiago: United were not close to signing me

ESPN staff
July 25, 2013
Thiago Alcantara wanted to feel valued wherever he moved © Getty Images

Bayern Munich's Thiago Alcantara has refuted his own father's claim that he almost signed for Manchester United from Barcelona.

Thiago was strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford this summer before choosing to join Champions League winners Bayern.

On Wednesday, Thiago's father Mazinho told Spanish press his son "was close" to making the switch to Manchester, but the midfielder has contradicted that opinion.

"The truth is that in no moment did United come to us and talk to us," Thiago said. "It came from the press, it was always a lie."

ESPN Comment

  • A classic case of a footballer endearing himself to the fans of his new club, following the tried and trusted "[new club] was always my first choice" template. A touch naïve to blame the press and brand them liars, though. That could come back to haunt him…"
  • Alex Perry

Reflecting on his decision to leave Barcelona, he said: "It's unfair to say I wasn't patient. The club knew my situation. I waited for them, especially before the European Championships, but they never contacted me. I didn't feel valued.

"I wanted to compete. The club knew that I wanted to leave and they didn't do much to change that.

"Everyone looks out for their interests, I wanted to feel valued and I wanted to compete so I decided to leave the club and join Bayern.

"I was waiting and waiting all summer, there was a point when I had to decide.

"All a footballer wants is to play football and I wanted to play, they [Barcelona] didn't do much for me to stay, so here I am."

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