Manchester United have lost out in the race to sign Thiago Alcantara after the Spaniard agreed to join Bayern Munich from Barcelona for £22million.
The midfielder will sign a four-year deal with the Champions League winners and undergo a medical in the coming days.
The deal also included an agreement that the two clubs play a friendly at some point in the next four years while Tiago has waived payments due to him to ensure the move.
Thiago Alcantara was the great desire of our new coach Pep Guardiola,’ said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. ‘We are pleased that we succeeded in this great transfer. Thiago has only just been elected the best player of the U21 European Championship. He is a fantastic player with great perspective, which will strengthen Bayern.’
Bayern director of sport Matthias Sammer had earlier played down reports suggesting that Thiago was heading to the Allianz Arena.
However, the European champions confirmed the Spain international is set to make a move which will see him link up with former boss Pep Guardiola.
‘The Spanish midfielder will travel in the coming days to Munich to attend the medical examination and signing a four-year contract until June 30, 2017,’ read a statement on Bayern’s website.
Rummenigge added: ‘Thiago has only just been named the best player at the European Under 21 Championship. He is a fantastic player with great perspective, which will strengthen Bayern.’
Born in Italy to Brazilian parents, Thiago came up through Barcelona’s training academy and debuted for its first team in 2008.
Guardiola made Thiago a first-team player two seasons ago 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.