Manchester United's new manager David Moyes has identified Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara as a key transfer target this summer, according to reports.
Thiago has been deployed as both a creative and deep–lying pivot midfielder at Camp Nou, but has seen his first-team opportunities restricted following the arrivals of Cesc Fabregas and Alex Song.
However, the Premier League champions could face competition from neighbours Manchester City in the race to sign the Spain international.
Thiago is a very talented midfielder and has a bright future ahead of him at only 22 years of age. He wants to play first-team football so that he can make Spain's 2014 World Cup team - something that he isn't going to get at Barcelona - and is therefore potentially open to a move this summer.
However, despite all of that, it's the wrong move for United to make.
The biggest point has to be his style. Playing in Barcelona's possession-based system is going to be very different to playing in United's attacking system. That's not to say his skills wouldn't be appreciated, but they would be less effective than they have been in Spain.
Thiago would be forced into hitting more long balls and crosses, which he wasn't that adept at last season. He would also be forced into doing much more work defensively which he's good at in La Liga, but might not necessarily be as effective at in the Premier League's physical style of play.
Standing at just under 1.72m and 70.7kg, Thiago doesn't have the physical size that a central midfielder is going to need to have in the English game.
As good as Thiago might be, he's just not a good fit in the Red Devils' system, or in the everyday rigors of the Premier League. And until the Spanish international can prove himself somewhere other than Barcelona's tiki-taka system, he's not worth United spending the money on this summer.
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