Guardiola: I want Thiago at Bayern

The Champions League winners are eager to hijack Manchester United's move for the midfielder as their new coach is a keen admirer of the 22-year-old
Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has admitted he has asked sporting director Matthias Sammer and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge to sign Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara.

The Spain international initially seemed destined to move to Manchester United, but a number of recent reports suggest Bayern are now leading the race to sign the 22-year-old.

Guardiola has now confirmed die Roten are keen to lure the playmaker to the Allianz Arena, although he was unable to give any clarity on the status of the Bavarians' interest.

"I have asked [Matthias] Sammer and [Karl-Heinz] Rummenigge to sign Thiago," Guardiola said at a press conference.

"I don't know what will happen in the future, but I would like to work with him at Bayern.

"I would like to sign Thiago because he is from Barcelona and I know him really well. I worked with him at Barcelona B as well and he is a really good player.

"[He] is the only player I want, that's what I told them. It'll be him or no one.

"We have many players but we the need the special [quality] that Thiago brings.

"The club will decide. I told them my opinion.

"I don't think [adding another midfielder] will be a problem. I spoke to club about my concept and told them why I want Thiago.

“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.”

The midfielder has a contract with the Catalan giants until the summer of 2015, but the failure to participate for a stipulated amount of minutes in 2012-13 has seen his exit clause plummet from €90 million to an attractive €18m.

However, his minimum fee release clause returns to €90m on August 1.