Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara has insisted that turning down a summer switch to Manchester United was the best decision of his career, relishing the prospect fighting for a regular starting spot in Bavaria.
Thiago looked all set to become a United player early this summer after growing frustrated with restricted first-team opportunities at Barcelona, before eventually opting to link up with Pep Guardiola at Munich instead.
The Spanish international believes that he made the right choice as Bayern were the strongest possible option, declaring that Guardiola is the best coach to harness his talent and ensure he becomes a top player.
He told reporters at a pre-match press conference: "It was the best decision of my life to come here to Munich. I am very happy here. Everybody knows the big history of the club.
"I know the coach and the team is really strong, that is why I decided to come here. I have known Guardiola since I was 18 years old. I learned so much from him.
"And if we mix the powerful German style of play football with the Pep-style, perhaps this mixture makes us even stronger."
The 22-year-old may be loving life in Munich but his start to life at the Allianz Arena has been hampered by injury, playing just six times after spending nearly three months on the sidelines with an ankle problem.
Losing out on Thiago proved endemic of a difficult close season in the transfer marker for new United manager David Moyes, missing out on a whole host of targets including Cesc Fabregas, Ander Herrera and Wesley Sneijder.
Moyes eventually settled on a £27.5m reunion with Marouane Fellaini at Old Trafford, but that has not been enough to quieten speculation over further investment when the window reopens next month.