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Thiago Alcantara's buyout clause confirmed -- but would he want to come to Chelsea?

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Denis Doyle

Guillem Balague's not good for much, but he definitely knows what's going on in Barcelona. Via whatever the heck Sulia is, the Spanish journalist has confirmed that Thiago Alcantara has indeed had his release clause slashed to €18 million thanks to his lack of playing time last year -- although only until August 1st. Balague also had some insight as to what Thiago might want from a new club, claiming that he'd prefer to play higher up the pitch and would also rather be a big fish in a small pond rather than fighting his way through a crowd of elite players like he's forced to at Barcelona.

Unfortunately for Chelsea, that makes him less of a fit at Stamford Bridge. The money makes perfect sense, but rather than competing with a weak midfield his desire to play higher up the pitch means that he's going to impinge on the strongest area of the squad. That doesn't mean it wouldn't make sense for Chelsea to take a flyer on him, but Thiago himself might not be thrilled about the idea of going up against Juan Mata or Oscar*. A team like Manchester United or AC Milan would present a significantly easier path should he really be insisting on playing as an attacking midfielder.

*Long term, I see Thiago and Oscar settling down as the most advanced players in a midfield three.

It's something to keep an eye on, but for me this just doesn't seem likely to happen in light of the fact that plenty of other teams will be going after him. We shall see, though.