Thiago chooses the Bundesliga over the Premier League.
There are woes for Manchester United as Bayern Munich have snapped up midfielder Thiago Alcantara in a four-year deal from Barcelona for a combined fee of £22m.
Bayern will pay an initial £17m to the La Liga champions, with the rest being funded by the proceeds of a friendly between the two clubs and the player himself.
Thiago will reunite with former Barca coach Pep Guardiola at the Aliianz Arena, with the 22-year-old playing under the Spaniard in the first team for a year in 2011/12.
“Thiago Alcantara was the biggest wish of our new coach Pep Guardiola,” Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told the club’s website.
“We’re delighted we’ve successfully negotiated this major transfer. Only recently, Thiago was named best player at the U-21 European championship.
“He’s a fantastic player with huge potential, and he will make FC Bayern stronger.”
This will come as bad news to United and new manager David Moyes, who had been targeting the Spain under-21 captain as the ideal replacement for the retired Paul Scholes.
Yet it was always likely Thiago would make the switch to Germany once Guardiola became interested, with the 42-year-old acting as a father figure to the younger Barca players and the coach also managing the midfielder in 2007/08 when in charge of Barcelona B.
Now the Red Devils will have to turn their attention elsewhere to strengthen in the middle of the pitch, with the club lacking depth in the area with the constant fitness concerns of Darren Fletcher coupled with Scholes’ departure.
Michael Carrick impressed last season, but there are still doubts over the suitability of Anderson at the club and Tom Cleverley is yet to establish himself as a first team regular.
Missing out on Thiago is a big blow, with the Spain international having played 100 matches for Barca since breaking into the senior side in 2011 – scoring 11 times and setting up a further 20 goals.