Thiago to sign for Bayern Munich

thiago goal villarrealSad news today as Barça lose one of the most exciting prospects of the cantera, Thiago Alcantara, who will sign for Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich. The two clubs have agreed a price of €25 million for the 22-year-old midfielder who will travel to Munich in the next few days to take a medical before signing his new four-year contract.

It is being reported that Bayern agreed to negotiate a fee with Barça rather than use the release clause of €18 million in Thiago’s contract due to a desire to maintain good relations between the clubs. As culés we can be happy to have got a few more million on the deal though it is difficult to understand why Bayern should decide to be so generous when in theory they had no need to be. If anybody has any idea on this please send a comment.

Whatever the case, the price still seems like a giveaway. Thiago may not have held down a first team place at Camp Nou but he is undoubtably one of the most talented youngsters in the game and if he fulfils his potential he could become one of the biggest stars of the decade.

However, he’s still not quite at that level yet, and moving to Bayern is quite a risk for player hoping for first team football in an attempt to make Vicente Del Bosque’s World Cup squad next summer. Thiago may not have to compete with Xavi, Iniesta and Fabregas on a weekly basis now but he will still be pushed to become a regular starter at the Allianz Arena despite previous confidence shown by Guardiola in his Barcelona days.

Tito Vilanova was being honest when he told Thiago that he could not guarantee him a regular starting place. Unfortunately Vilanova was unable to convince the player of his value to the squad and he couldn’t persuade him to be patient any more. Many people saw Thiago as the natural substitute for Xavi in Barça’s midfield but I feel Thiago’s problem has been that he is probably more suited as a natural successor to Iniesta. The main criticism of Thiago has usually been that he sometimes gives the ball away in dangerous positions but if he played ten yards further forward in a more attacking midfield role like Iniesta this would not be so important while his ability to take on opponents would be more useful.

Unfortunately for Thiago, Iniesta is four years younger than Xavi and is still at his peak. It could have been a long while before Thiago got the role that would be best suited to him at Barça so ultimately he may be making the best decision for his career. Now we will never know how he might have developed if he had stayed at Camp Nou and unless we buy him back in the future, probably for double the price, we will only ever be able to appreciate him as an opponent.

As a football fan I can only hope that Thiago has made the right decision and that he develops into the fantastic player that he could be. Sadly as a Barça fan I fear that we may often look back in the future and say: “if only we’d kept Thiago”.

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6 Responses to Thiago to sign for Bayern Munich

  1. Caleb says:

    The way this develops for Thiago will be nothing if not interesting. I agree that Thiago is not Xavi’s replacement. Busquets is a more natural replacement for Xavi. Even Dos Santos is more similar to Xavi. Few mistakes and few risks. Thiago is the type of player that is more likely to provide that moment of brilliance to break down an opponent, at the expense of consistency.

    I’m a little curious why he didn’t want to go to Man U where the likelihood of starting is much greater . . . I mean, if playing time is what he’s looking for.

    Thiago has bucket loads of potential. If he ever realizes it we’ll truly regret this day.

  2. Layi says:

    Goodbye thiago

  3. tree says:

    @ caleb:
    well apart from play time Thiago surely wanted an equivalent club like Barca with great players, coach etc. and therefore Bayern > ManU. I think ManU would be a save spot for Thiago regarding play time but that wasn’t surely the only component in his decision making process.

  4. barcacentralomer says:

    I’m probably in the minority here but I think this may turn out to be a good transfer move for Barca (for a change). I’ve never been a Thiago fan because I’ve felt he’s not progressed at the rate he should have while we had him. Sure, he’s been unlucky with injuries and limited playing time, but he’s also not really made the best use of the opportunities he did get by committing the same mistakes time and again.
    20 or 25 million – hopefully the latter is a decent sum for a player who to be honest may or may not turn out to be one of the best midfielders in the world in a few years. Nic, you raise a valid question about Bayern not activating the release clause and paying a few extra million. My guess is that there’s no buyback clause.

    The likes of Sergi Roberto and the other midfield dynamos rolling out from the Barca assembly line should not take this as a negative sign. IMO, they should instead try to raise their game further so that people don’t talk of them as the next Xavi/Iniesta but as a player who deserves to be in the Barca starting XI.

  5. Caleb says:

    Nic, what do you make of Pep’s comments followed by Rosell’s response? Did Barca spread some rumors about Pep not visiting Tito?

    Then what about Tito coming out and basically just backing Rosell’s version of the story? Is Tito just toeing the line? Is he risking a rift with his friend, Pep, just to cover the pres? Or is there actually something between them?

    Maybe Tito really was hurt by Pep not visiting him more but Rosell went on a used this?

    I’m a bit surprised first by Pep going on such an offensive against Rosell and also very surprised by Tito basically saying he really was hurt by Pep (It seemed like Rosell wanted to cover the subject up and say there was nothing in it but Tito just went out and talked about it actually being the case).

    What do you make of all this? Is it all part of a larger Cruyff v. anti-Cruyff factions?

  6. Caleb says:

    omg. I feel so bad for Tito. He gets one of the jobs he no doubt dreams about and has the team purring to win-after-win. The recurrence of his cancer means the whole season gets a bit chaotic and everyone is left with questions of “What if Tito hadn’t gotten sick?” Still a record breaking season was had and no doubt Tito was really looking forward to having a whole season with the team. On the cusp of the new season he gets this news. Brutal. I just hope that he can finally experience lasting remission. I think he was a great coach and we will really miss him.

    Anims, Tito!

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