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Good(ish) news on the Thiago front

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Michael Steele

Thiago Alcantara has turns some heads in England this summer. Chelsea and Manchester United were both looking into picking the Barcelona midfielder up, with United in the lead thanks to Chelsea's acquisition of Dutch midfielder Marco van Ginkel, and he was exactly the sort of buy that should scare other teams -- young, enormously talented and influential.

While I was always cold on Chelsea picking him up, I was pretty worried about the idea of Thiago heading to Old Trafford and hanging about the Manchester United squad for the better part of the decade. He'd have made them immediately better and far more stable, and as Blues supporter I really didn't want that to happen. Fortunately, it probably won't -- thanks to an old nemesis of ours:

I want Thiago Alcantara. Have asked (Bayern to get him). Don't know what will happen. I know him very well. I talked to Rummenigge and Sammer about him, we will wait and then see. I don't think (adding another midfielder) will be a problem. I spoke to club about my concept and told them why I want Thiago Alcantara.

Thiago is the only player I want, that's what I told them. It'll be him or no one. We have many players but we the need the special (quality) that Thiago Alcantara brings.

-Pep Guardiola. Source: Rafa Honigstein.

Bayern Munich are obviously dangerous European opposition, but it's far safer to stash Thiago in the Bundesliga than England. And if Pep Guardiola wants Thiago specificially, he's almost certainly going to get him. It's impossible for me to see Thiago not being interested in hooking up with his former manager at the best side in Europe -- David Moyes can't make anything like that sort of pitch.

If Thiago can't come to Stamford Bridge, the next best outcome is that he stays far away from Manchester, and it sounds like that's exactly what will happen.