Rio Ferdinand has lifted the lid on how Liverpool star Thiago Alcantara called him to ask him to arrange a transfer to Manchester United.
The Spain international arrived as an exciting signing from then-European champions Bayern Munich last September. Despite an exciting debut away at Chelsea, he encountered a nasty knee injury against Everton in October. That ruled him out until late December and he initially struggled after returning.
Indeed, some pundits criticised him while the likes of Jamie Carragher defended his displays.
Thiago’s struggles came partly because the injuries in Jurgen Klopp’s team forced him to play a deeper role. As such, he often could not produce his best passing game and drive his team forward.
The 30-year-old, owever, could be afforded a more advanced role next season. To that end, it’s claimed Klopp will trial him in the more attacking position during their pre-season preparations.
However, his career could have taken him to the Premier League far sooner than it did. Upon leaving Barcelona in 2013, Thiago tried to engineer himself a move to David Moyes’ Manchester United.
And while that was strongly speculated at the time, Ferdinand has now revealed Thiago got in touch to ask him to fix him up.
Speaking on his YouTube show, Vibe with FIVE, Ferdinand said: “Before Thiago left Barcelona, he called me.
“We played against Barcelona in the States on tour, and he was unreal,” referencing a 2011 pre-season friendly.
“He was playing as the 10, and he scored a worldie.
“So we knew about him anyway, and a few years later, Moyes was manager.
“I don’t speak to Thiago, I don’t know him, but David De Gea gave him my number,” the 42-year-old revealed.
“‘He rang me, and he said: ‘Rio, I would love to come to Man Utd. Can you speak to someone?’”
“So I spoke to the people at the club, Moyes and Woodward. I mentioned it.”
No Thiago, but Fellaini instead
Ferdinand claimed they responded by saying: “‘We’re already down the line with a couple of other signings. It’s fine.’
“He was given 24 hours, Thiago, to make a decision.”
That decision was whether to join United – or to link up with Pep Guardiola, who had taken up a role with Bayern Munich.
“He ended up ringing me up next morning again, ‘I’ve slept on it, can you let me know about Man Utd, what’s going on?’
“He said again, ‘I’ve got 24 hours to make a decision, otherwise Pep won’t take me to Bayern Munich’.
That summer, despite being linked with a host of names, the Red Devils only ended up signing Marouane Fellainin on deadline day.
Thiago, meanwhile, signed for Bayern and won seven Bundesliga titles and one Champions League crown.