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European champions Bayern Munich are set to sign Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara after agreeing a fee of £21.6million with Barcelona.
Manchester United were in the running to land the 22-year-old but new Bayern boss Pep Guardiola has pinched the youngster from under the nose of his Reds counterpart David Moyes.
Bayern Munich have revealed the player will pen a four-year deal once he has undergone a medical later this week and Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says Guardiola’s influence won the day.
“Thiago Alcantara was the great desire of our new coach Pep Guardiola,” Rummenigge revealed. “Thiago is a fantastic player with great perspective, which will strengthen Bayern.”
Guardiola has a big job on his hands as he tries to follow in the footsteps of former boss Jupp Heynckes, who won the Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup in his final season in charge at the Allianz Arena.
However, Guardiola will be confident of bring further European and domestic success to Bayern after keeping all of his star men on board.
Add to that new signings Mario Gotze from Borussia Dortmund, Mainz defender Jan Kirchhoff and now Thiago, and Bayern have assembled a very strong squad heading into the new campaign.
Thiago captained Spain to the European Under-21 Championship title last month and showed his undoubted quality as he scored a first-half hat-trick against Italy in the final.