The rising star’s dad (who happens to be a former Brazil international, Mazinho) has been quoted in Spain backing the United switch – and keeping the story a family affair, a loan move for his brother could help sweeten the deal further.
The whole family would then relocate to the north-west, which would help him to settle in his new country.
Such is the promise of both youngsters that Chelsea and Arsenal are also interested in deals.
The only note of caution comes from the Metro, which reports that Barcelona could yet scupper the deal by offering Thiago a new contract. The 22-year-old’s biggest incentive to leave has been limited opportunities, but if the club clarify his position and propose a new deal, he could still stay at the Nou Camp.
So a move that looked all but certain before the weekend remains on the brink – and so it is for the deal which would bring Gonzalo Higuain to Arsenal.
The Sun report that the Gunners still have every chance of pulling off the deal, but the players’ father, Jorge Higuain, has suggested that Juventus are also firmly in the mix.
He insisted: “Nothing has yet been signed but I assure you the negotiations between the clubs are at an advanced stage.
“We won’t agree a contract before the clubs reach a transfer deal. I’m sure Arsenal made a big offer, and Juventus.”
It’s a thin day for transfer rumours in the British press, with summer sports finally getting their time in the limelight.
But in amongst the Wimbledon previews and Champions Trophy post-mortems, there are a couple of titbits worth mentioning.
The Daily Mail say Norwich will go head-to-head with Everton for the signing of Arouna Kone – the Wigan striker has a £5m buy-out clause which will help a move represent solid value.
The Mirror, meanwhile, say that Southampton’s summer dealings are not progressing smoothly – coach Mauricio Pocchetino is set to be snubbed by all three of Cagliari midfielder Radja Nainggolan, Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama and Roma striker Pablo Osvaldo.
One of those - Wanyama – could find himself at Cardiff City after a club record bid, adds the Daily Mail.