Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has urged Thiago Alcantara to stay at the club despite reported interest from Manchester United.
The 22-year-old made just 15 starts for Barcelona in last season’s La Liga campaign, with the midfielder battling the likes of Xavi and Andres Iniesta for a first-team place.
The Italian-born player has always been highly rated and he proved his credentials with a hat-trick in Spain’s 4-2 UEFA European Under 21-Championship final win over Italy on Tuesday.
Thiago, who captained Spain at the tournament, has been linked with a switch to the Premier League but Pique, a former Manchester United player himself, has asked Thiago to remain patient at the club.
“There is a possibility that he could leave but we have to convince him that the best place for him is Barcelona,” Pique told radio station Onda Cero.
“Players in his position like Xavi were patient and they ended up defining an era.”
Pique also says the future of Spanish football is very bright after watching the Under-21s romp to success in Israel.
“When you watch them and see how superior they have been in this tournament you realise that the future is very positive,” he said.