Del Bosque: Man Utd-target doesn't need to quit Barca
Spain boss Vicente del Bosque acknowledges Thiago Alcantara needs regular first-team action if he is to force his way into his squad for next summer's World Cup finals - but does not believe he has to join Manchester United to get it.
Thiago, 22, was the star of the recent European Under-21 Championships where he netted a hat-trick in the final against Italy as Spain retained the title they won in 2011.
The Barcelona midfielder's future has been the subject of much speculation in recent weeks with a well-documented clause in his contract allowing him to depart the Camp Nou for as little as £17million until August 1.
United have been tipped as his most likely destination with reports claiming the player's father and agent, Mazinho, a member of Brazil's World Cup-winning side in 1994, has already terms with the Premier League champions.
A five-year deal worth a reported £100,000-a-week is on the table from United with reports in Spain claiming the much discussed deal could finally be rubber-stamped this week.
Del Bosque is a big admirer of Thiago, although it seems he is not totally convinced a move to Old Trafford is the right move.
"The most important thing for Thiago is that he keeps on getting games," said the Spain coach, who is expected to stand down after the World Cup. "I think he would get them at Barcelona, he is held in a very high regard at the club."
Thiago, though, has never hidden the fact that he would be prepared to leave the comfort and relative safety of his boyhood club in order to further his career.
"I woud lie if I said that my dream is to succeed at Barca. My dream is to succeed in football. I want to be a player that people will remember forever," said Thiago in an interview back in 2011.
New deal for United
Meanwhile, United have confirmed Russia airline Aeroflot as their 'official carrier'.
The deal was announced at Old Trafford earlier on Wednesday in the presence of new manager David Moyes and members of the United squad.
United's Group managing director, Richard Arnold, said: "Today's announcement marks the club's first commercial venture in Russia, an expanding market we are keen to explore further.
"The club has close to 18 million followers in Russia, demonstrating the partnerships potential audience in the country.
"Aeroflot is celebrating its 90th birthday this year, but has already impressed us with its youthful energy as one of the youngest fleets in Europe."