Manchester United came 'very close' to completing a deal for Thiago Alcantara prior to his transfer from Barcelona to Bayern Munich, according to the father of the Spain international.

Thiago appeared set to secure an Old Trafford following his starring display at the under-21 European Championships, with David Moyes having identified the 22-year-old as a key midfield acquisition.

Manchester United monitored the performances of the player during his time in Israel, and representatives of the club even spoke to Thiago in the hope of brokering a deal to sign him.

Thiago, however, was unable to reach a personal agreement with Manchester United, and eventually secured a reunion with former manager Pep Guardiola at the Allianz Arena.

"Thiago was very close to signing with Manchester United," his father, the former Brazil international Mazinho, told Brazilian radio.

"They watched him at the Under-21 European Champions, and after it was finished, they had talks. But they couldn’t find an agreement.

"Thiago knew it would be very hard to play matches at Barcelona, and his goal is to play with Spain at the 2014 World Cup."

Having missed out on Thiago, Manchester United have turned their attention to the acquisition of his former Camp Nou teammate Cesc Fabregas, but have failed in three bids to sign him.

The Premier League champions may now reportedly focus on recruiting Ilkay Gundogen from Borussia Dortmund.

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