Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea tried to convince his international teammate Thiago Alcantara to join the Red Devils back in 2013.

There had been interest from Sir Alex Ferguson in his final season at Old Trafford and that continued when David Moyes took the helm after the legendary manager retired.

And the Spanish goalkeeper tried to play his part, although, in an interview with the Daily Mail, Thiago explained it was always going to be Bayern Munich when left Barcelona.

The former Blaugrana star, who was seen by many as the heir to Xavi's throne at the Camp Nou and whose sale still disappoints some Barcelona fans, had just scored a hat-trick in the European Under-21 Championship final as Spain beat Italy 4-2.

De Gea was the goalkeeper during that tournament and he tried to persuade his colleague that the Theatre of Dreams was the place to be.

"There was never any firm proposal," Thiago said. "David de Gea wanted me to join. He wrote a message on my match ball after we'd beaten Italy in the final.

But I'd have done the same with him. He is one of the greatest goalkeepers in the world. You always want to play with the best. But it was always going to be Munich."

Thiago is a fabulous player, his display against Arsenal in the Champions League emphasised that, and is seen as the future of Bayern and the national team.

"David de Gea wanted me to join. He wrote a message on my match ball after we'd beaten Italy in the final."

Pep Guardiola saw his incredible talents during their time together in Catalunya and the €25 million fee for his services seems a relative steal in today's crazy market.

The 24-year-old has been unfortunate with injuries throughout his career, missing Euro 2012 and the 2014 World Cup through separate issues.

The Brazilian-born midfield also admitted his admiration for the Premier League but insisted he is happy at the Allianz Arena.

"All I will say is that it is an amazing league. It is probably the best league in the world, but I'm very happy at Bayern."