Promising young midfielder could make controversial switch to arch-rivals.
Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara has emerged as a surprise target for the club’s arch-rivals Real Madrid, according to the Daily Express.
The 22-year-old is one of the most highly rated young players at the Nou Camp, but he has struggled to establish himself as a first team regular ahead of star names such as Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas.
Manchester United were said to be keen on the midfield playmaker this summer, as they are making replacing the retiring Paul Scholes a priority in the upcoming transfer window.
The Red Devils have also been linked with Alcantara’s team-mate Cesc Fabregas, though he appears to be staying at Barcelona despite also struggling to make himself a regular starter for Tito Vilanova’s side.
Alcantara has a £15million minimum release fee clause, and Real Madrid are now said to be tempted to bring him to the Bernabeu this summer as they look to strengthen their team for an improved title challenge in La Liga next season.
Barca will be keen not to sell a promising young player to their rivals, but have in recent history sold players to the club, with Javier Saviola in 2007 and, more famously, Luis Figo in 2000.