Bayern secures transfer of Thiago from Barcelona
Bayern Munich secured the transfer of midfielder Thiago
Alcantara from Barcelona on Sunday, reuniting him with coach Pep
Barcelona said that Bayern had agreed to pay the Spanish club 25
million euros for Thiago. The deal also included an agreement to
play a friendly match between the two clubs at some point in the
next four years.
Bayern said that Thiago would sign a four-year contract and that
the cost to the German club would only reach ?20 million, with
proceeds from the friendly and an agreement by Thiago to forego
personal payments making up the difference.
Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said the 22-year-old Thiago ”was
the great wish of our new coach, Pep Guardiola.”
Rummennigge added that Thiago ”is a fantastic player with great
prospects who will strengthen Bayern,” the Bundesliga and
Champions League title holder.
Thiago helped Spain’s under-21 team win the European
championship last month, scoring a hat trick in the final against
Born in Italy to Brazilian parents, Thiago came up through
Barcelona’s training academy and debuted for its first team in
Guardiola made Thiago a fulltime first-team player in 2011-12
and he played in 45 games, but injuries limited him to 36
appearances last season under coach Tito Vilanova as Barcelona won
the Spanish league title. Yet despite his displays of playmaking,
dribbling and a good shot from distance, he was never able to
become a first-choice starter in Barcelona’s midfield held down by
Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez and Cesc Fabregas.
Guardiola said this week that Thiago was a ”super player” and
that he was urging Bayern to sign him.
Thiago’s contract with Barcelona had a buyout clause of ?90
million, but it included the stipulation that if he played in less
than 60 percent of the games in a season the buyout price would be
lowered to just ?18 million.
Barcelona club president Sandro Rosell said on June 13 that he
hoped Thiago would ”follow the steps of Xavi (Hernandez), (Andres)
Iniesta and the other players who have become references for this
”I understand that the player wants to play, but even Xavi had
to wait. I hope he has the patience that others have shown,” he
However, playing time would have been even harder to come by at
Barcelona with the arrival of Neymar, and Thiago had been linked to
moves to several clubs including Manchester United.
Thiago’s transfer to Bayern follows the signing of Germany
midfielder Mario Goetze from Borussia Dortmund.
Thiago’s brother, Rafina, is also under contract with Barcelona
and played for its ”B-team” in the second division last