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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Thiago plays down Man United links

Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara has played down reports of a move to Manchester United in the summer.

David De Gea and Thiago Alcantara are heading to Israel for the Euro Under-21 Championship
Thiago failed to assert his place in the Barcelona line-up this season

Thiago, 22, has been linked with United and Manchester City recently after failing to establish himself in the starting line-up at Camp Nou this season.

The Spain international's lack of game time - he played less than 30 minutes in around 60 per cent of Barca's games - has reduced his buy-out clause, meaning United are likely to pay just €18million for his services, rather than the €90m the Catalan side could have demanded.

Thiago will not make a decision on his future until after the Under-21 European Championships in June, but claims he is happy in Spain and has been unaffected by the United rumours.

"I just live my life and I am very happy," the Spain international told reporters. "I enjoy it in Barcelona because I have lived through some great times but we will see what happens after the Euros. Any player is used to living with rumours about him and they just cannot affect you."

United goalkeeper David de Gea also refused to be drawn on the club's interest in Thiago, insisting the midfielder was likely taken out of context when talking about his future.

"All players want the best players in their team. I could say I hope that he comes to Barca in the same way he says things about me," he added. "I just think he was having a bit of fun and not too much should be read into it."


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