Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has said he would like to see Bayern Munich’s Thiago Alcantara rejoin the side.
The midfielder left the Camp Nou in 2013 for the German giants, having emerged from Barca’s academy, La Masia, and he has flourished in Bavaria.
Recently, there has been speculation that Barcelona are plotting a way to bring Thiago back to the club this summer. Jordi Gil of Sport reported that a transfer fee of €70 million (£61 million) may be enough to convince the Bundesliga side to sell.
When asked about the prospect of Thiago joining him at Barca this summer, Ter Stegen told Sport Bild he was all for the idea (h/t Chris Burton of Goal).
“I would like to have Thiago at Barca,” said the Germany international. “His playing style suits us, and from our viewpoint, he is an interesting player. Thiago is a special type of player. He definitely would offer us different possibilities. If a transfer happened, it would be brilliant both for him and for us.”
JOSEP LAGO/Getty Images
As Burton relayed, Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, also speaking to Sport Bild, said “no club has contacted us, nor Thiago” about a possible transfer this summer.
While Barcelona have been linked with a number of targets as of late, Rafael Hernandez of Grup14 believes the club should be looking to bring the playmaker back:
Rafael Hernández @RafaelH117
Drop the Griezmann signing, buy Thiago and Frenkie instead, then with the sales try to bring Martial is what I’d do.
Plenty associated with the Blaugrana lament the manner in which Thiago left Barcelona five years ago.
Given he was struggling for minutes at the Camp Nou, it was no shock to see him jump at the chance to make the switch to a huge club in Bayern. Former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola was the man who was in charge at the Allianz Arena when the deal went through.
Since then, Thiago has kicked on. When he’s in form, he conducts Bayern’s play with grace, and he’s vibrant in his movement and outstanding in his technical abilities.
TOBIAS SCHWARZ/Getty Images
They are attributes you imagine would have been refined in Barcelona’s youth setup. And with the legendary Andres Iniesta, a player who benefitted from similar schooling, leaving this summer there would be some sense to bringing back Thiago to the Catalan club.
As The Independent highlighted, Bayern icon and pundit Lothar Matthaus has been critical of the midfielder as of late:
Indy Football @IndyFootball
Lothar Matthaus on Thiago: “He has disappointed me in recent weeks and I’m not sure where his head is right now. With these performances he’s not a player for Bayern Munich. If a suitable offer appears on the table then I think the club should think about it.” https://t.co/EyIrsm7kau
When asked about a possible transfer in May, Thiago was coy, per Goal’s Ronan Murphy:
Ronan Murphy @swearimnotpaul
Thiago on Barcelona return to Mundo Deportivo: “I am enjoying the moment, I am immediately focused on the World Cup. I renewed last year with Bayern, but it’s very complicated.” #FCBayern #FCB
Barcelona are blessed with a number of midfield options, and they spent a club-record fee to sign Philippe Coutinho in the January transfer window. It’s been anticipated he may be the man to fill some of the huge void that will be left by Iniesta’s departure.
If he’s available, a number of Barcelona fans would jump at the chance to get Thiago back next season—and clearly Ter Stegen would too. Even so, you can’t imagine Bayern would be too keen to let one of the world’s best central midfielders leave on the cheap this summer.