Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have confirmed the signing of ex-Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara for a fee said to be around £21M.
The 22-year old has signed a four-year deal, and will join up with his former manager Pep Guardiola.
Premier League holders Manchester United were reported to have won the race to sign him, but Bayern made an eleventh hour bid and the Spanish international chose Germany over England.
Last season, Thiago made 27 La Liga appearances for Barcelona, but around half of them were from the bench. The midfielder spoke out about wanting more first-team opportunities, and the Catalan giants revealed they would let him go this summer.
Dubbed ‘the new Xavi’, Thiago is highly-rated in Spain and many feel he has the potential to be among the best in the world in a few years time.
One of this season’s highlights was scoring a hattrick for Spain in the final of the European U21 Championships. The side beat Italy 4-2 to secure the trophy for a second consecutive time.
Despite being only 22 years of age, Thiago has already won four La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, two Supercopa de Espanas, one UEFA Champions League trophy, one UEFA Super Cup, and one FIFA Club World Cup.
Bayern Munich come of the back of having won the treble – Bundesliga, Champions League, and German Cup. They also beat the Catalan giants en route to winning the Champions League last season.
Thiago will face stiff competition for a starting place with Toni Kroos, Mario Gotze, and Thomas Muller in the side, but Guardiola said he will utilise the strength in depth to the fullest.
During his time with Barcelona, the Spaniard made 100 appearances for the senior side, and 11 appearances for the B team.
He’s represented Spain’s senior side on three occasions, while making 20 appearances for the Spain U21s. The 22-year old will be hoping he can force his way into the Spain national squad in time for the 2014 World Cup next season.