Pep Guardiola has admitted that he hopes to bring Thiago Alcantara to Bayern Munich.
Reports emerged in the Spanish media over night that Bayern had jumped to the front of the queue to sign Alcantara, who seems likely to quit Barcelona in search of more first-team football.
Manchester United were in pole position to sign the Spanish U21 starlet, but now seem to be the latest English Premier League team to miss out on a top transfer target.
Speaking at a Bayern press conference on Thursday, Guardiola said he had told the club of his desire to be reunited with his Barca old boy, but admitted that any deal is yet to be agreed.
"I want Thiago Alcantara,” he said, according to German football correspondent Raphael Honigstein, who was tweeting live from the press conference.
“I have asked [Bayern to sign him], but don't know what will happen."
"I know him very well.
“I talked to [Bayern directors Karl-Heinz] Rummenigge and [Matthias] Sammer about him, we will wait and then see."
Barca have made it clear that they want to keep Alcantara, who even Guardiola used to predict would eventually replace Xavi Hernandez in midfield at the Camp Nou.
But Pep has seemingly promised that Bayern are willing to offer Thiago the regular first-team game time he craves, and that Barca have been unable to do.
"We have many players but we the need the ‘special’ that Thiago Alcantara brings," Guardiola said.
"Nobody will leave Barcelona unless they feel they won't play much.
“He wants to play. That's why I proposed him to the club.".
It remains to be seen how the Spanish giants take to their former manager, and still cult hero, looking to his old club to poach promising players.