The transfer saga of the summer regarding Liverpool has been the supposed pursuit of Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara—and now a local journalist has confirmed the Reds’ interest.
So much of the rumour up until this point has been from overseas: the German media convinced that the former Barcelona man had picked his ideal club, the usual outlets suggesting he had spoken to Jurgen Klopp.
But from the UK, and from Liverpool’s usually reliable media sources, it was the opposite: no current interest, no intention to bid, nothing to report.
The Independent‘s Melissa Reddy has confirmed the Reds are “significantly interested” in the Spanish playmaker and that talks have “taken place with his camp” now that he is into his final year with Bayern.
The club hierarchy have already acknowledged his desire for a new challenge at this point, saying only that they’ll study serious offers as and when they arrive.
There isn’t one from Liverpool yet, but Reddy says finances are not the biggest factor in the move.
Seven senior midfielders on the books, plus Marko Grujic and Harry Wilson being set to return, means the area of the squad Thiago would challenge for is the best-stocked part of Klopp’s side and he does not want to risk destabilising the harmony which exists.
The interest in Thiago is tempered, though, by the note that “there is no expectation that anyone will depart” and “unless there are outgoings in the area, it is unlikely the signing of Thiago will happen.”
Of course, the one notable potential departure here continues to be Gini Wijnaldum.
The Dutch midfielder also has one year left on his deal at Anfield and the appointment of his national team manager Ronald Koeman as the new Barcelona boss has fuelled hype that he could move on this summer.
Reddy notes that Wijnaldum “has not dismissed taking on a new challenge”, but the real talk of a potential exit comes from a different source altogether, right from the No. 5’s homeland.
Dutch outlet AD report that Koeman has Wijnaldum “very high” on his wish list as he starts a rebuild in Catalunya.
The suggestion is that there are “serious whispers” that Koeman told Wijnaldum not to renew, as he instead wants to pair him with fellow national team midfielder Frenkie de Jong at the heart of the Camp Nou midfield.
Important points to note here are that Barcelona have a huge volume of midfielders of their own, including Miralem Pjanic arriving imminently from Juventus, as well as the fact Koeman used Wijnaldum as a much more advanced midfielder for Netherlands.
Additionally, Barca fired sporting director Eric Abidal this week, so it’s not immediately clear who will be responsible for sorting transfers this summer, though of course it could be that Koeman told his superiors that he wanted Wijnaldum to aid his rebuild this summer.
Both Thiago and Wijnaldum are in positions of making a decision, if not outright power, this summer, and both stories clearly still have some way to run.