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Barcelona make desperate attempt to salvage some control over Thiago

Jun 21, 2013, 7:20 PM EDT

Italy v Spain - UEFA European U21 Championships: Final Getty Images

When Barcelona failed give enough playing time to Thiago Alcantara this past season, they unknowingly allowed the 21-year-old midfield prodigy to slip through their fingers like sand.

With his release clause now at a meager £17 million ($26.2 million) thanks to a playing time clause in his contract, Manchester United – who were already in pursuit of the midfielder – leaped at the opportunity to snatch up someone who is close to being considered a world-class passer.  That price is basically a no-brainer.

According to Miguel Delaney of ESPN, Barcelona are making a last-ditch effort to retain some ownership in Thiago.  Delaney says Barca are thought to have made an even more cut-rate offer to United with the Manchester club writing in a buy-back clause in exchange.

The Catalan giants have basically no leverage, as the Red Devils can activate Thiago’s release clause at any time and whisk him away to Old Trafford.  The only leverage they would have in this deal is to offer United a price at less than his release clause in return for the buy-back option.

Most likely David Moyes will laugh this one out of the negotiating room, as the release clause is now so low that saving a few million pounds won’t be worth relinquishing future control over the player.

It’s only a matter of time before the Spaniard makes his way to England, but now the question is will United bite on the new offer from Barcelona.

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