Liverpool are said to be seeking a cut-price deal for Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, after Jurgen Klopp gave the green light to pursue the Spaniard.
Reports of the Reds’ interest in the 29-year-old have persisted since first emerging towards the end of June, with Bayern confirming he is set to leave.
Thiago is in the final year of his contract with the Bundesliga champions, and after turning down their offer of an extension will be sold this summer to avoid a free transfer in 2021.
Liverpool have emerged as surprise front-runners for his signature, despite repeated claims from Klopp that the club cannot afford to spend heavily in the transfer market.
The manager has admitted he is a fan of the midfielder, but would not be drawn on speculation of a move, while journalists have claimed personal terms have already been agreed.
This has been corroborated by German publication Bild, who claim that Thiago is aiming for a switch to Anfield, and Klopp has “ordered” Liverpool to secure a deal.
However, the sticking point at this stage is, of course, the fee, with the Reds said to have offered €25 million (£22.7m) while Bayern are holding out for €40 million (£36.4m).
With a £13.7 million difference in valuations, it would appear there is a long way to go before an agreement can be reached between Liverpool and Bayern, with the buying club likely holding out for a cut-price deal due to the state of the market.
No other concrete interest from clubs has been claimed so far, with Thiago seemingly set on a move to Merseyside to join the Premier League champions.
This could be Liverpool’s strategy, though that could ensure a waiting game with the window set to open on July 27 but next season not expected to start until September 12, with the transfer deadline not until October 5.
There is no rush at this stage, with two games still left to play before the end of 2019/20, but Klopp would surely be eager to secure Thiago before pre-season.
The Merseyside press have remained largely quiet on the situation, with no firm denial, and The Athletic’s James Pearce has even written that “he’s keen on moving to the Premier League so we’ll have to wait and see if LFC move for him.”
Whether a deal can be agreed remains to be seen, but hopefully it is not another Timo Werner scenario.