Reports: Barcelona to make stunning €91 million bid for superstar midfielder
No, not Philippe Coutinho... Barcelona's new no.1 target is arguably a better footballer!
What's the story?
Despite the stunning start that Barcelona have had in both La Liga and the Champions League, rumours linking them to players all over Europe simply refuse to lie down.... but this time, it isn't about Philippe Coutinho.
No, seriously. The good folk at the Daily Express believe that the Catalans are ending their pursuit of the Liverpool playmaker as one of their own wants to come back. Bayern Munich's Thiago Alacantra, who is having an absolute ball of a time running the show in the Bundesliga has apparently indicated a willingness to come back to Barcelona and the Catalans are ready to splurge some more of their Neymar money and bid the €91 million (or £80 million) that Bayern have put upon him as his price tag.
In case you didn't know
Thiago made his debut at Barcelona, after graduating out of their famous La Masia academy, on 17th May 2009 aged just 18. He stayed at the club for five years, making 101 appearances, before following Pep Guardiola to Bavaria - Guardiola having reportedly told his news bosses that if they were going to sign only one player it has to be Thiago - and setting up shop there... already having made 128 appearances in his 4+ years in Germany.
He is the ticking heartbeat of the Bavarian machine - and the Germans wouldn't be too pleased with the prospect of losing him.
The heart of the matter
The Spanish international would appear to be the logical successor to Andres Iniesta (as wonderful a player as he is age and a fragile body are catching up with him) and having been indoctrinated in the ways of Barcelona's famous passing philosophy and having played alongside Sergio Busquets and Lionel Messi knows he'll fit in perfectly... hence his desire to go back to Catalunya.
For those who don't follow much Bundesliga, here's the little magician in action:
Thiago, at his best, is utterly unplayable
Moving for Thiago instead of Coutinho seems to be a much more sensible option for Barcelona - Bayern have always proven to be good businessmen to deal with for Spanish clubs (just ask Real Madrid and the 20 odd million they paid for Toni Kroos) and they can put the sordid affair of having to deal with an unbending Liverpool behind them.
Besides, Thiago is arguably the better player of the two isn't he?