Man Utd could sign David Moyes target for free 11 years after he picked Pep Guardiola

Manchester United should seal a free transfer for Thiago Alcantara (Image: Getty)

If Manchester United want to strengthen their midfield in the summer then they might wish to look no further than free agent Thiago Alcantara. Coming out of a tough season at Liverpool which was hampered by injuries, the Spaniard still has plenty to offer at the elite level.

A potential move for Thiago would see United attempt to finally sign a player who was first identified by the club as a target for David Moyes. The Red Devils tried to acquire the then-youngster from Barcelona in Moyes’ only summer window in 2013.

Thiago had impressed at Barcelona having graduated from their La Masia academy. United found themselves competing with Bayern Munich for the then-22-year-old.

The appeal of working under Pep Guardiola was ultimately the deciding factor for Thiago. He had worked under the Spaniard at Barca and a reunion at Bayern was more appealing than moving to the Premier League and working under Moyes, who had just replaced Sir Alex Ferguson.

“I played under him in the [Barcelona] youth team and I’ve got him to thank for everything that I have achieved so far,” Thiago said at the time of picking Guardiola over Moyes. “I never had a coach like him. He’s unique.

“After the European Under-21 Championship, I spoke with Guardiola on the phone and, after that, I decided to come to Bayern.

“I discussed last season and the upcoming season with the club. I wanted a new challenge.”

Thiago played 80 times under Guardiola at Bayern, scoring nine goals and providing 14 assists. Guardiola departed the Bavarian club and had a year-long sabbatical before beginning his Manchester City dynasty in 2016.

Thiago Alcantara preferred to work with Pep Guardiola over David Moyes in 2013 (Image: Getty)

Thiago remained at Bayern until 2021, joining Liverpool for a little under £20m. By then an experienced playmaker, the Spain international showed flashes of brilliance at Anfield across 98 appearances.

However, his three years on Merseyside were blighted by injuries and fitness concerns. Thiago made just one Premier League appearance last season, coming on late in a 3-1 defeat against Arsenal before spending the remainder of the campaign absent.

Despite those concerns, United could take a chance on a vastly experienced midfielder, even if convincing a former Liverpool player to make the move across the north-west might be difficult. Erik ten Hag’s current midfield options struggled for form and fitness last season, and a free transfer deal for a player who is now aged 33 might be an astute move.