David de Gea has backed his international team-mate and close friend Thiago Alcantara to join him in Manchester this summer.
The pair enjoyed a successful U21 European Championship together with Spain retaining their title and with the midfielder looking likely to exit Barcelona in search of game time, De Gea hopes he will be gaining a Spanish compatriot at Old Trafford.
“Thiago to United? Hopefully I can have a Spanish team-mate. Every United player would want him to join,” De Gea told El Mundo Deportivo.
“We’ve been joking about Thiago joining, but Barca know they have a great player and I don’t think they’ll let him go.”
Speculation of an impending move to United has mounted over the past week with a ‘See you in Manchester’ message on Thiago’s match ball, reportedly written by De Gea, sparking a lot of the rumours.
Many see the deal as something of a formality amid rumours the 22-year-old midfielder’s father and agent Manzinho has met with club officials already.
And De Gea has nailed his colours to the mast stating he’d love to have a Spanish team-mate next season and has claimed all of United’s players would be thrilled at the prospect of the addition of Thiago, regarded by many as one of if not the most talented young midfielders in world football.
In normal circumstances, a deal for Thiago may seem completely out of reach with the Catalonian outfit famed for blooding talent from the illustrious La Masia academy rather than selling them on.
However, with the midfielder’s release clause dropping from €90 million to a bargain €18 million, it is certainly possible that the Spain’s U21 skipper could be playing in Manchester next season.
Critically, it seems the player is keen to move on as well. While Xavi has urged him to be patient, his dream of representing La Roja at the 2014 World Cup is unlikely to be fulfilled if he spends the next season on the Barcelona bench. United could provide an escape route, where he could establish himself alongside Michael Carrick in an exciting midfield combination.