The main narrative for Thiago Alcantara's apparent desire to leave Barcelona for Manchester United is that he wants to play regularly. David Moyes can offer him that as the gifted 22-year-old would immediately become first-choice in United's midfield alongside Michael Carrick. Tito Villanova can't do that as the Spaniard is blocked for two midfield spots at Barcelona by the world-class likes of Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, and Cesc Fabregas. Thiago not only wants to kick-start his club career, but he also wants to feature regularly this upcoming season so that he can convince Spain boss Vicente del Bosque to include him for next summer's World Cup squad in Brazil -- the host country that his father Mazinho is a World Cup winner for. With all of this basic context in mind, that made these recent comments by del Bosque somewhat newsworthy:
"The most important thing for Thiago is that he keeps on getting games."
- del Bosque
Alright Thiago, then it's settled -- come to United, get games, become the best midfielder in England next season, and earn your way onto the Spain squad for next summer! Or not... del Bosque continued with this:
"I think he would get them at Barcelona, he is held in a very high regard at the club."
- del Bosque
Not much has come out in the past few days about Thiago but all indications are that the deal is still likely to go through for United. It's hard to know for certain, though, if these comments would have any affect on the 22-year-old. Perhaps del Bosque has already expressed this to him in person, by phone, through a text, or via Skype*. The comments by the Spain boss, though, could obviously be met with skepticism.
* I have a hunch the latter two forms of communication didn't happen.
Barcelona almost certainly hold Thiago 'in a very high regard', it's just that they've already had a chance this past season to get the youngster more games when Xavi and Iniesta were visibly fatigued -- and they failed to rotate him in enough, despite the Catalan club having a large La Liga title-lead for nearly the entire season. That is what opened the window of opportunity for United to take advantage of this now infamous and relatively cheap release clause.
At this moment in time, it's still reasonable to be optimistic (perhaps cautiously if that's your nature -- it's mine since I'm a pessimist) that this Thiago deal will be concluded by United. It does continue to drag on so one could be forgiven for being a bit restless in regards to this all. My Thiago meter, though, is sitting at a solid 8/10**.
** 0 being that Thiago remains at Barcelona shining Xavi's boots while rotting on the bench with 10 being Wayne Rooney shining Thiago's boots next season as the youngster excels in England for Manchester United.