UEFA Champions League holders FC Bayern München have bolstered their squad ahead of the new season with the signing of Thiago Alcántara from FC Barcelona on a four-year deal for a fee which could rise to €25m, subject to a medical.
Thiago, 22, made 68 league appearances in five years for Barcelona since his debut in 2008 and scored a hat-trick in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship final last month as Spain secured back-to-back titles with victory over Italy. The midfielder, also a 2008 European U17 Championship winner, has three senior international caps to his name and will team up with former coach Josep Guardiola in Munich.
"It was the big wish of our coach Pep Guardiola to get Thiago Alcántara," said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on the club's official website. "We are very happy to complete this major transfer. Thiago has just recently been voted player of the tournament at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship. He is a fantastic player with huge potential and he will make Bayern even stronger."
Bayern and Barcelona have also agreed to play a friendly match with the proceeds going to the Spanish side, while Rummenigge also added that Thiago has indirectly contributed to the transfer by waiving part of his wages. Die Bayern begin the defence of their UEFA Champions League crown in the group stage, the draw for which takes place on 29 August in Monaco.
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