Manchester United enjoyed a good Premier League campaign this season by securing a third placed finish on the final day of the season. From the end of January onwards, United picked up more points than any other team in the league after being boosted by the arrival of Bruno Fernandes.
As time was slipping away from United in the final weeks of the season, supporters were hoping they wouldn’t be left to rue the club’s decision to walk away from the Fernandes transfer last summer. Unwilling to meet Sporting Lisbon’s asking price, United came back for the Portuguese midfielder in the January window and got the deal done.
No player in the league scored and assisted more goals than Fernandes from that point onwards, showing what a difference he could have made to United’s season had we bought him last July. We cut it fine but the gamble paid off, just about.
Still, there’s no denying that we still need to bring in quality recruitments this summer if we are going to continue to improve and we can’t afford to mess around again when it comes to securing the top players. Our squad falls short of Liverpool and Manchester City, so if the owners have any interest in seeing United compete for the title any time soon, we need to bulk up our squad with better players.
While Jadon Sancho appears to be our top priority, even if there currently seems to be little agreement between United and Borussia Dortmund on the fee, Thiago is another player in the Bundesliga who is available this summer.
Bayern Munich have reportedly said they’re prepared to allow the Spaniard to leave for €30m, with just one year remaining on his current deal. The Oly bet website has the German club down as favourites to win the league next season regardless, with big plans in the transfer window ahead after already securing Leroy Sane’s signature, but he could make the world of difference to us.
We’ve been here before though. In the summer of 2013 it looked as though Thiago would be leaving Barcelona for United, the club he supported as a boy, when David Moyes took over from Sir Alex Ferguson. The rumour mill went crazy when Thiago was pictured with the match ball, following his hattrick for Spain’s U-21s, which said “see you in Manchester“. David de Gea later revealed that he had written it, as a joke, but it got our hopes up nevertheless.
However, Thiago ended up joining Bayern Munich for €25m, with the players revealing that he had waited for United but we weren’t interested in signing him.
He’s won the league in all seven of the seasons he’s spent in Germany but is reportedly now seeking a new challenge. Liverpool have been the club he’s been linked with in recent weeks but Bayern’s CEO, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, has denied having any contact from the scousers. Two weeks ago, Thiago’s younger brother, Rafinha, claimed that the midfielder was set to leave Bayern to join United.
Thiago turned 29 a couple of months ago and his injury record isn’t the best. He was missing with injury for 50 days last season, 34 the season before that. Still, he was in the top 10 for minutes played at Bayern in 2019-20, so there is still plenty of life in him. If Fernandes or Pogba pick up a long-term injury next season, it’s hard to see where we would get adequate cover from, while Thiago could be rotated with them and provide real competition for places.
But United will be wary about signing another midfielder from Bayern who is past their best and injury prone after Owen Hargreaves and Bastian Schweinsteiger.
But for €30m, surely he would be worth the risk?