Manchester City are preparing a summer move for Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, with manager Pep Guardiola keen to work with the midfielder once again.
The duo began their working relationship at Barcelona, before Guardiola opted to take Thiago with him to Bayern in 2013. The 27-year-old is widely regarded as one of the world's finest midfielders, and has long been linked with a move to the Etihad Stadium.
Guardiola is said to be targeting a new midfielder who could replace the 33-year-old Fernandinho, and The Mirror claim that Thiago is one of his primary transfer targets.
The Spaniard is comfortable in defence, and his ball-playing abilities make him the ideal player for Guardiola's system. City have failed in moves for the likes of Jorginho, Fred and Frenkie de Jong, but it is believed that Thiago would be incredibly keen on reuniting with his former manager.
Saul Niguez of Atletico Madrid is another target for City, but he still has seven years remaining on his contract at the club, meaning he would likely command an astronomical figure. On the other hand, Thiago's contract with Bayern is set to expire in 2021, which will give City hope that they can convince the Bundesliga giants to part ways with him.
However, it is expected that Bayern would demand well over the club-record £60m which City spent to sign Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City last summer.
Thiago has made 28 appearances for Bayern this season, regularly operating in a similar role to Fernandinho. He has registered three goals and four assists in all competitions, but his creative influence goes far beyond statistics.
With incredible vision, Thiago is able to dictate play and provide stability at the base of Bayern's midfield, and Guardiola is looking for such a player to replace the ageing Fernandinho. City have looked incredibly vulnerable when the Brazilian has been unavailable, prompting the Citizens to begin preparations for life without the 33-year-old.
Source : 90min