Wenger and Fergie ‘make contact’ with Barca brothers

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Manchester United and Arsenal have contacted the father of Barcelona wonderkids Thiago and Rafael Alcantara, according to Talksport.

Thiago’s contract is reported to run out on January 31 and, while Barca stall on offering him a new deal, the two Barclays Premier League sides have been in touch with father Mazinho, a former Brazil international.

19-year-old Thiago has impressed when making the step up from Barcelona’s B team to Pep Guardiola’s first team this season but, similarly to Gai Assulin before him, the Catalan side have been sluggish in arranging a new deal.

Israeli Assulin was highly rated at Camp Nou but the club failed to offer him a contract and he eventually decided to move to Manchester City last month.

Arsenal and Manchester United now plan to tempt Thiago to England, with whoever he signs for also in pole position to land brother Rafael.

Sir Alex Ferguson already has highly rated brothers in his first team in Fabio and Rafael da Silva and the Barcelona pair would complement them perfectly at Old Trafford.

Arsenal, though, will rival the Red Devils for their signatures as Arsene Wenger continues his plan to build the Gunners’ academy to become the next generation of superstars at the Emirates Stadium.

Gunners skipper Cesc Fabregas joined Arsenal at a young age from Barca and the chance to learn from him would be a big draw for the pair.

Despite their father being Brazilian, both have been capped for Spain at youth level – with Thiago being born in Bari, Italy and Rafael in Brazil.

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