Rio Ferdinand claims Thiago once pushed him for a move to Manchester United. Things could have gone very differently.
Liverpool signed Thiago for £20m last year in a massive transfer for the club. The Spaniard is arguably the biggest name to ever join – the Reds don’t traditionally operate in that kind of market.
It’s usually small-name players that Liverpool take a chance on. Or maybe a young star with something to prove. There have been great names even in the last 20 years – Fernando Torres, Luis Suarez, Xabi Alonso, Virgil van Dijk – but none of them were elite players when they joined.
Thiago, though, is different. A player who has not only won just about everything but done it as a key player. Undoubtedly, he’s one of the most talented midfielders on the planet.
So good that even Neymar thinks the Liverpool man might have more technical ability than him.
But things could have been very, very different. That’s according to Rio Ferdinand, who claims Thiago once pushed him to make a Manchester United transfer happen.
Thiago wanted Manchester United
“Before Thiago left Barcelona [in 2013], he called me,” Ferdinand told his YouTube channel. “[David] Moyes was manager.
“I don’t speak to Thiago, I don’t know him, but David de Gea gave him my number.
“He rang me, and he said: ‘Rio, I would love to come to Man United. Is there anybody I can speak to or that you can speak to for me just to see the interest?
“So I spoke to the people at the club, Moyes and [Ed] Woodward. I mentioned it.”
According to Ferdinand, United had already got their transfer plans in motion, thus nothing came of it. We’ll consider that a major blunder on their part, given how good Thiago is now.
In fact, he was already pretty brilliant back then.
As for Liverpool, it does show how far the club has come. Just one year previously, they’d signed Joe Allen and Brendan Rodgers called him ‘the Welsh Xavi’. We like Allen but he wasn’t that.
But seven years later Liverpool signed the player Barcelona and Spain groomed to literally be the next Xavi.
In short, we’re still absolutely thrilled that Thiago is a Liverpool player. Especially as we don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet.
His form to end last season was fantastic and should only get better. And if that is the case, United will regret not listening to Ferdinand even more.