“David de Gea gave him my number.”
Rio Ferdinand has revealed that Liverpool and Spain midfielder Thiago Alcantara asked him to organise a move to Man United several years ago.
Thiago was eager to take his talents to the Premier League back in 2013 and he asked Ferdinand to assist him in making a move to United come to fruition.
The midfielder was leaving Barcelona and several clubs were interested in his signature but Thiago was hopeful of a switch to the Red Devils.
Ferdinand revealed that United were already aware of the quality Thiago possessed, having played against him during a preseason friendly in 2011.
“We played against Barcelona in the States on tour and he was unreal!” Ferdinand said on his Vibe with FIVE YouTube show.
Thiago wanted Man United move
“He was playing as a number 10, and I think he scored a worldie. So we knew about him anyway and then a few years later, [David] Moyes was manager.
“I don’t speak to Thiago, I don’t know him but David de Gea gave him my number.
“So he rang me and he said, ‘Rio, I would love to come to Man United. Can you speak to someone?'”
Thiago’s former manager at Barcelona, Pep Guardiola, had just agreed a deal to take over at Bayern Munich and he was determined to bring the Spain international with him but he set Thiago a deadline to decide on his next club.
Ferdinand’s conversation with Moyes and United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward about Thiago’s interest ended with the veteran defender being told that the club had other targets in mind.
“So I spoke to the people at the club – Moyes and Woodward – I mentioned it,” Ferdinand revealed.
“They said, ‘We’re already down the line with a couple of other signings. It’s fine.’ He was given 24 hours, Thiago, to make a decision.
“He ended up ringing me up the next morning again and said, ‘I’ve slept on it, can you let me know about Man United, what’s going on?’
“He said again, ‘I’ve got 24 hours to make a decision, otherwise Pep won’t take me to Bayern Munich.’ He ended up going to Bayern Munich and the rest is history.”