Football News

Thiago “wanted” to join Man Utd before Liverpool move, says Rio Ferdinand

By Ben Green

Published: 7:49, 27 April 2022

Rio Ferdinand has revealed that Thiago Alcantara was more than open to moving to Manchester United before completing a transfer Liverpool in the summer of 2020.

The 31-year-old has been in the form of his life this season, proving the vital artery of Jurgen Klopp’s midfield, and recently producing a performance against the Red Devils which was described as the best game he’s ever had at Anfield” by Jamie Carragher.

That 4-0 rout on Merseyside highlighted the sheer gulf in quality between the two clubs at this time, with Thiago the midfield difference-maker as he toyed with Ralf Rangnick’s rugged Red Devils, dictating the tempo, threading passes and oozing confidence.

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It took a while for the 46-capped Spain international to get going under Klopp following a glittering seven-year career at Bayern Munich, but he has now fully acclimatised to the demands of his coach’s high-octane brand and the hustle and bustle of Premier League football.

He is now one of the first names on the Liverpool teamsheet, no mean feat in a squad packed out with world-class talent. Man Utd meanwhile have been crying out for a midfield tempo-setter all season, and Ferdinand has now revealed that Thiago “wanted” to be that man.

“Thiago has been the stand out midfielder for the last few weeks and months, he’s been absolutely top,” Ferdinand explained on his Vibe With Five podcast.

“You look at his stats? Thiago’s pass accuracy by the way in the last two games against Everton and Man Utd 98.4 % against Everton and 95.6% against Everton that is ridiculous.

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“I spoke to him at the time. He speaks perfect English, he was a great guy, wanted to come to United. But you look at him now and he couldn’t be happier.”

The former centre-back went on to discuss the importance of giving players time to find their feet at a new club, a new environment, using the example of Thiago at Liverpool as a point of promise for Jadon Sancho, who has struggled in his first season at Old Trafford after moving from the Bundesliga.

He continued: “What I would like to talk about just with Thiago and finish it with him is that Thiago, you could have gone to a huge amount of the fanbase after last season and they would have said he isn’t good enough for us, he isn’t the player he thought he was, German League, Bundesliga, he’s slowing us down let’s get him out.

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“There were ex-players I saw saying he’s side to side, doesn’t play the ball forward, he isn’t ready-made for this league. Players need time.

“It goes back to this thing with managers and Man Utd as well the club need to give the manager at Man Utd patience, the clubs need and the fans need to give players that come in from other leagues especially patience.

“Sancho is another example. I bet you see a better player with Sancho next season for sure.”



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