Bayern Munich to sign Barcelona's Thiago Alcantara

 

Bayern Munich have agreed a deal to sign rumoured Manchester United target Thiago Alcantara from Barcelona for £21.6m.

The Spain midfielder, 22, will link up with his ex-Barca coach Pep Guardiola at the European champions.

"Thiago Alcantara was the great desire of our new coach Pep Guardiola," said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

The German champions said Thiago will complete a medical in Munich this week before signing a four-year contract.

Thiago Alcantara factfile

Born: 11 April 1991

Signed: As a 14-year-old in 2005

Debut: 17 May 2009

Starts (sub appearances): 84 (36)

Goals: 12

Honours: 4 La Ligas, 1 Champions League, 1 Uefa Super Cup, 1 Spanish Super Cup

It is thought he wanted to leave Barcelona to boost his chances of being named in Spain's World Cup squad next summer.

He captained his nation to the European Under-21 Championship in June and scored a first-half hat-trick against Italy in the final.

"Thiago is a fantastic player with great perspective, which will strengthen Bayern," added Rummenigge.

Bayern say they will pay £17.3m up front, with Thiago forfeiting some money, and a friendly against Barcelona in the next four years counting towards the total fee.

The Italian-born player, son of Brazil's 1994 Word Cup-winning midfielder Mazinho, was given his Barcelona debut by Guardiola, who left the Nou Camp at the end of the 2011-12 season.

Guardiola, 42, took a year-long sabbatical before being named as Jupp Heynckes successor in January. Heynckes won the Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup titles in his final season at the Allianz Arena.

Bayern have already signed Borussia Dortmund forward Mario Gotze and Mainz defender Jan Kirchhoff this summer.