EXCLUSIVE: Guardiola gives green light to sign €70m Mourinho target

It can reveal Pep Guardiola has given the green light for Manchester City to pursue Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantra this summer.

Manchester United were reported to be “looking to kick-start a frustrating transfer window”by “considering deals for Robert Lewandowski and Thiago Alcántara”, according to the Independent last week.

Now though City are in hot pursuit of the Spain central midfielder – a player Guardiola has tried and failed to sign on more than one occasion since arriving in England.

Guardiola took charge of City in 2016 and one of the first players he targeted was Thiago, but Bayern Munich refused, and again they blocked a move in the January of last year.

Guardiola, who signed Thiago for Bayern, helped them beat Manchester United to him, and he is now ready to turn to Thiago after missing out on both Fred and Jorginho.

City have been looking to bolster their midfield since January, but deals for Fred and Jorginho both collapsed late on, allowing rivals Man Utd and Chelsea to swoop.

“Yaya [Toure] is leaving so we have to replace him, and maybe another one,” said Guardiola on Sky Sports’ MNF in May. “One or two more, no more. We cannot invest…maybe people don’t believe me but we don’t have the money to invest £300m every season. Now Guardiola does not want to panic buy, but he does not consider Thiago to be a panic signing – given how well he knows the player and the fact City have tried to sign him before.

With the arrival of Leon Goreztka at Bayern , the German champions are ready to sanction Thiago’s exit, but City are not the only interested party with former club Barca also keen. Spanish outlet Sport say the player favours a move back to Barcelona haveing been brought up at La Masia.

Real Madrid are also in the hunt for him according to Marca, who believe that former Spain coach Julen Lopetegui wants to reunite with one of his favourites. Thiago, who spent a lot of last season injured, making 21 starts, is under contract until 2021 and Bayern are looking for €70m for him.

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