Premier League champions Manchester United have agreed personal terms of £5.5million-a-year with Thiago and his father, former Brazil World Cup winner Mazinho, and are confident of wrapping up a £17m transfer.
However , Barca still hope to persuade the 22-year-old that he will be a ‘leader’ at the club for years to come but he remains unconvinced after struggling to secure a first-team place.
Thiago has gone on holiday leaving his father and representatives to hold talks with the Spanish champions, and they are expected to tell Barcelona that he wants to quit the Nou Camp for Old Trafford.
United have even gone to the effort of gathering character references on the player and are aware that both Manchester City and Bayern Munich could make a counter offer.
Barcelona will hold last-ditch talks with Thiago Alcantara to try to persuade the Spain midfielder to turn down a move to Manchester United.
Former Barca and Netherlands legend Johan Cruyff believe Thiago should be allowed to leave Barca if they cannot guarantee him first team action. But that is unlikely with Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas as competition.
“At this point comes the philosophy of the club – you should assign, sell and invest in a player and do it as what you think is right,” he said.
“If he really has little chance to play, then he has to go. It all depends on Barcelona’s plans.
“If there is little chance that he will get regular playing time, he should leave.
“However, if Barca tell him that he will be a starter, he should stay put. It’s all quite simple really.“Thiago has a lot of quality and he has plenty of time as he’s still young. Any decision he will take will prove to be a good one.”
The midfielder has a contract with Barcelona until the summer of 2015, but the failure to participate for a stipulated amount of minutes in 2012-13 has seen his exit clause plummet from €90 million to an attractive €18m.Follow @_4thOfficial