Thiago Alcantara has decided to join up with Pep Guardiola once again, moving from FC Barcelona to Bayern Munich. Barcelona announced the transfer in a release on their website on Sunday.
While it certainly wasn't his only breakout performance, Thiago was one of the stars of the European Under-21 Championships. He hass struggled to break into the first XI at Barcelona, which features a loaded midfield. While Bayern's midfield isn't any less deep or talented, it is lacking in players who do exactly what Thiago does, and he'll be going to play for a manager who seems to rate him higher than the current Barca brass.
Thiago was linked to a move to Manchester United earlier in the summer and was reportedly close to signing with them before Bayern Munich swooped in. He would have had a much easier time capturing a first team place at Old Trafford than he will in Munich, but given his previous relationship with Guardiola and that his agent is Pep's brother, his change of heart isn't a surprise.
AS, among other outlets, estimates that the transfer fee was €25 million, plus a friendly between the two clubs where Bayern will presumably profit more than the Catalan club. Thiago's release clause was previously reported as €18 million.
BREAKING: Thiago seals Bayern move for 25 million euros. The deal includes a friendly to the played between the 2 sides— AS English (@English_AS) July 14, 2013
Thiago's main competition for a starting spot is likely to be Toni Kroos, who started as Bayern's most attacking midfielder over the last two seasons before he picked up an injury that kept him out of the Champions League final.