Thiago Alcantara showed exactly why Manchester United are interested in signing him with a perfect hat-trick against Italy in the U21 European Championship final.
He opened the scoring with a header, put Spain back in the lead with a lashed left footed effort and completed the hat-trick with a confident right foot penalty.
It means Thiago becomes the only player to have ever scored a hat-trick in the U21 final.
His performance won’t affect his price given the €18 million buy-out clause in his contract but it will certainly increase Barcelona’s efforts to try and stop him leaving the Nou Camp for pastures new.
Whether or not he leaves Barcelona will be solely up to Thiago. We have already seen this summer with the Mario Gotze transfer that if a clause is met, a team is powerless to stop a player leaving.
But given that United’s interest was genuine before Thiago scored a hat-trick in a major international final, expect there to be a lot of movement in the next few days.
The 22-year-old’s hat-trick is even more impressive as he is a midfielder and he really does look like the perfect player to play alongside Carrick to give United a midfield that would allow us to challenge in Europe once again.