Manchester United veteran Ryan Giggs believes Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara is a "big talent". The Premier League champions have been strongly linked with a move for the 22-year-old, who starred in his country's European U21 Championship title win.
"I've seen him in several games. He's a good player. But there's always a lot of speculation with United and good players. We'll see if it happens in the end, but he's a big talent," Giggs said in an interview with Marca.
Alcantara has been heavily involved in transfer speculation this summer, following an impressive hat-trick in the final of the European youth championships. The Catalan youngster scored thrice in the first half to guide his country to a 4-2 win over Italy.
The Spanish champions responded to his goals and United's interest by offering him a new contract but it is understood the young midfielder is concerned about his technical development and a place in Spain's senior squad, when Vicente del Bosque leads the country for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Meanwhile, Giggs also praised Spain's senior squad, highlighting the midfield contributions of Barcelona trio Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez and Cesc Fabregas.
"The Spain team is full of great players like Fàbregas, Iniesta and Xavi. They're great when they have the ball at their feet. They've been a top team for the last six or seven years. Then the under-21s are the ones who will come next. There is quality at every level and I think the success will continue for a long time," the United icon admitted.
Signs of Spain's dominance over the next few major world and European tournaments are plenty: apart from the U21 side's win in Israel earlier this month, the U20 side have romped to a 4-1 win over the US in their opening game at the FIFA U20 World Cup in Turkey.
The Spanish senior squad shows no signs of slowing down either. Goals from Chelsea's Fernando Torres and Barcelona's Jordi Alba gave them a 3-0 win over Nigeria in the Confederations Cup. Spain, who have won all three group games, will face old rivals Italy in the semi final on Thursday.