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Thiago Alcantara 'wanted to arrange' a move to Manchester United long before he ended up at Liverpool, and is said to have called Rio Ferdinand to ask for his assistance.
That is according to the former England and United defender, who has detailed a past interaction with the Spain midfielder ahead of his Euro 2020 semi-final against Italy.
Ferdinand, who won six Premier League titles and the Champions League during his time with the Red Devils between 2002 and 2014, has spoken openly about the transfer intentions of his former rival.
Thiago spent almost 10 years with Barcelona after leaving Flamengo as a youngster back in 2005, going on to win seven consecutive Bundesliga titles with Bayern Munich before joining Liverpool last year.
Ferdinand told Vibe with FIVE: "Before Thiago left Barcelona, he called me. We played against Barcelona in the States on tour, and he was unreal. He was playing as the 10, and he scored a worldie.
"So we knew about him anyway, and 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.
"He rang me, and he said: 'Rio, I would love to come to Man Utd. 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."
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Ferdinand went on to explain that the club had already made their transfer plans for the summer, meaning they didn't pursue a deal for Thiago as he ended up joining Bayern.
The 30-year-old, who is aiming to reach the Euro 2020 final with Spain by beating Italy, said after joining Liverpool for £20m last summer: "I think it’s an amazing feeling.
"I was waiting for this moment for a long time and I am very, very happy to be here."
Adding when asked if he spoke to any former Reds players ahead of the switch: "Yeah, for sure.
"More than the football aspect because in the end, Liverpool is what it is for the last years, the last decades. They were amazing, they performed and it is raising every year as much as you can, as much as they can, as much as we can, is what I should say.
"More than that, it is the family aspect, the life aspect – how is the city? Where to go. How was the life [here]? People like Philippe Coutinho and Xabi Alonso helped me a lot to take this last step.
"It’s really good."
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