Spanish football pundit Guillem Balague has been discussing Manchester United’s failed move for Thiago Alcantara in 2013.
Thiago had appeared primed to join United after Barcelona’s failure to help him meet a set number of appearances triggered a release clause in his contract.
In the summer Sir Alex Ferguson retired, this was precisely the type of transfer Manchester United needed.
Except as Balague notes, and much to Thiago’s disbelief, United manager David Moyes at the time called the deal off.
Balague’s ‘revelations’ are not exactly new, but the detail and Thiago’s shocked reaction is fresh, and makes the decision even more agonising.
Even at the time, Thiago was a special talent, just stuck behind Andres Iniesta and Xavi, and Barcelona did not want to lost him.
To this day seven years later, it is one of the all time Manchester United transfer errors.
Thiago signed for Bayern Munich and has gone on to win a Bundesliga title every single year, playing a key part.
He has racked up 230 appearances, scoring 31 goals and providing 37 assists, dominating games from midfield, and he is one of the most underrated players of his generation.
There is fresh talk about his future now, with his contract set to expire in 2021.
At just 29, Thiago would still be a fantastic addition for any team, including United, although there is no current suggestion the club are planning on making a move.
We blew that chance, with David Moyes deciding to pursue Cesc Fabregas instead, failing, and then having to settle for Marouane Fellaini.
Unsurprisingly he was fired without even seeing through his first season.
If mounting a slight defence, perhaps Moyes learned from his error. He lined up a move for Toni Kroos, which successor Louis van Gaal then in turn snubbed, The Guardian reported..
Perhaps with stronger leadership in the boardroom at the time, these two outstanding players would not have fallen through United’s grasp.
The Thiago miss has been costly, and one of Moyes’ many mistakes. It’s hard not to feel sorry for West Ham right now.
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