Thiago Alcantara is close to joining Manchester United [El Mundo Deportivo]

So there may well have been something in David De Gea’s message on Thiago Alcantara’s Euro 2013 final hat-trick ball.

Catalan paper El Mundo Deportivo splash this Thursday morning with the claim that Thiago Alcantara is close to joining Manchester United.

Thiago’s choice seems to be between staying at Barcelona (challenging Xavi, Iniesta and Fabregas for a midfield spot), heading to Old Trafford or joining up with former coach Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich.

Crucially, and this news has not been mentioned anywhere else, El Mundo Deportivo say that Thiago Alcantara and his father Mazinho (a former Brazil international and 1994 World Cup winner) have already held talks with Manchester United.

Thiago’s friendship with David De Gea is also cited as a reason the Spain Under-21 star is heading to the Premier League champions, as well as Rio Ferdinand’s praiseworthy Tweet during the recent Under-21 European Championships final.

At a fee of just 18 million euros, due to a clause in his Barcelona contract, Manchester United appear to be closing in on one of the signings of the decade.