But when Guardiola went public with his interest in Thiago last week, the chase was pretty much over.
Days later he signed for the German club, and today at his unveiling he revealed that it was the chance to work with Guardiola again that inspired his choice:
‘I played under him in the (Barcelona) youth team and I’ve got him to thank for everything that I have achieved so far.
‘I never had a coach like him. He’s unique.
‘After the European Under-21 Championship, I spoke with Guardiola on the phone and, after that, I decided to come to Bayern.
‘I discussed last season and the upcoming season with the club. I wanted a new challenge.’
Thiago’s decision leaves United having to look elsewhere as David Moyes looks to reinforce his midfield this summer.