Manchester United are interested in signing Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara after learning that his release clause has now been set at just £15million.

The 22 year old signed a new contract two years ago that featured a release clause set at a staggering £77m, but this amount has been reduced because of a catch in the contract over the amount of games he played in a season.

Thiago Alcantara
Thiago Alcantara will be available from Barcelona for just £15million this summer. [Reuters]

Spanish newspaper Marca has revealed that Thiago did not make the relevant amount of appearances and he will now be available for just £15m - a figure that has alerted Manchester United.

The paper reports that his wage would not be a problem for United who will be looking to find a replacement for Paul Scholes who recently hung up his boots for good after another successful season at Old Trafford.

Thiago wants to play a central midfield role at Barcelona but he has struggled to become a regular in the side because of the fierce competition from Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas, Alex Song and Sergio Busquets.

The Spain international has played a part in Barcelona's league success this season but Tito Vilanova tended to leave him out of the most important games against their biggest rivals and in the Champions League.

In fact he played just 116 minutes in Barcelon's entire European campaign, which included the entire 90 minutes against Benfica when qualification for the knockout stage had already been secured.

Should Manchester United decide to pursue the midfielder then they would not have to go through lengthy negotiations with Barcelona as long as they met the release clause.

However, they may face some competition from Champions League finalists Bayern Munich who have also been mentioned by Marca as another possible destination for Thiago.

Pep Guardiola takes charge of the German side next season and is a firm supporter of the midfielder after helping him make the transition from the Barcelona youth academy to the first team.

The lure of once again working with the Spanish coach may be difficult for Thiago to turn down and Manchester United would have to convince him that he stands more chance of playing regular first team football at Old Trafford than he would at the Allianz Arena.