There is a possibility that the Thiago saga could run until the end of July, that's when his €18m (€21.7m inc IVA) clause runs out and when the player would have to make a final decision by. He's set to have a break from football now and there was, and perhaps still is, every chance that nothing will be confirmed this week or next. David Moyes isn't due to be unveiled at Old Trafford until July 1st or shortly afterwards and it would be nice for him to be presented along with one, or maybe even two, new signings.
There is already Zaha available to wrap a scarf around with Moyes, but the arrival of Thiago would be on a completely different level and bring a whole heap of enthusiasm to the beginning of the David Moyes reign. The former Everton manager is currently on holiday but Catalan newspaper Sport say that he's broken into his break to speak to Thiago and give him assurances about a future at Old Trafford.
Sport has no front page spread detailing Thiago and guaranteed first team starts at Manchester United, a rumour which swept social networks on Thursday night, but it does have a little note in the corner saying that Manchester United have assured Thiago and David Moyes has already spoken with the player.
Inside, the newspaper reports that Manchester United are determined to make Thiago the spine of their team and build a team around him, they even bring the name Paul Scholes into the equation which was almost inevitable. With the Old Trafford legend retiring there is a place to be filled and Thiago will be expected to produce as soon as he arrives, a few good performances and he'll no doubt be labelled the successor to Paul Scholes.
The departure of Sir Alex Ferguson is also covered as is what could be the final year of Ryan Giggs as a footballer and the problems surrounding Darren Fletcher. Sport see a Thiago move to Manchester United a fresh start for both parties, with only Barcelona losing out. A new Manchester United era with Thiago at the spine of a David Moyes team, there's a lot of hope being placed on young shoulders. The Sport piece calls Thiago both a spine and a beacon for the new set-up in one article, piling on the pressure already.
Graham Hunter, who works on Spanish football for Sky's Spanish football programme, and has connections within the Catalan club, said yesterday that the Thiago and Manchester United deal was close enough for wages to be agreed, which makes it sound imminent.
We may be wrong, and for the sanity of many panicking Manchester United fans we hope we are, but we just can't see an announcement on this as soon as some hope, even if the deal was to be completed as far as it can be without a medical. Thiago is determined to enjoy his holiday and David Moyes is technically still on his.
It's also hard to think that Barcelona won't try one last move to keep the player, but a pay-rise was all but ruled out by several in the Spanish media who said it would set a bad example after he got one just last year. There's every possibility that if a move does happen, Thiago will receive the wrath of the Barcelona friendly media and be painted as the bad guy.
The other Catalan newspaper, Mundo Deportivo, says that Barcelona staff want Thiago to be 'brave' and stay to fight for his place but that if he is determined to leave then he should do so quickly and without fuss. There is a stated worry that Real Madrid may come back into the equation which is not something fans of either Manchester United or Barcelona would want to hear. Florentino Perez has said previously that the club wouldn't take advantage of Thiago's buy-out clause but Mundo insist Real Madrid have looked at the possibility of doing so.
Manchester United remain firmly out in front, the reliable Graham Hunter says the deal is so far along that wages have been covered and Sport reckon David Moyes has assured Thiago that he'd be a major part of his Old Trafford plans. That's how it stands at the moment.
After the Thiago's Ball story and his signing of a Manchester Untied shirt, something which hasn't gone down well with Barcelona fans, there's bound to be more twists on this until a final announcement is made.
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