Manchester United relief as FC Barcelona star fails to activate 90m Euro release fee.
Manchester United’s hopes of signing FC Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara for a cut price deal could lie in the balance after all players in the Spain Under-21 side were allowed to return to their clubs.
According to Spanish newspaper Marca, the Red Devils would be able to sign the playmaker for 18 million Euros if he did not play a certain amount of games.
If Alcantara did play the requisite number of games, his release clause would rise to a much less appealing 90m Euros, but given that the Spain U21 star has been selected only the 16th most times out of the small Barca squad, he is more likely to be allowed to leave for the smaller amount.
According to ESPN and Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Tancredi Palmeri, the clause is down to minutes played rather than appearances, which means that even though Alcantara could reach the required 60% of selections, he would not have played enough minutes to activate the increased release fee.
Thiago made 15 starts and 11 substitute appearances in La Liga this season, and given the lack of top class quality in the Manchester United midfield, the 22 year-old could find more success at Old Trafford.
Manchester United haven’t bought a senior central midfielder since summer 2007 when they bought Owen Hargreaves and Anderson, and although Shinji Kagawa is capable in that role, he has tended to play closer to the forwards.
Teenager Nick Powell is yet to be granted much of an opportunity at Old Trafford, but is thought to be a great prospect.