One journalist’s claim over Barcelona pursuing a reunion with Thiago seemed unlikely when it initially surfaced, but now half of his report has already come true.
On Friday, journalist Pedro Almeida, who describes himself as a “Portuguese insider specialised in transfers,” claimed Barcelona were chasing two former players.
It was reported that talks had already begun over a deal to bring back Dani Alves, while Almeida added that Thiago is “very appreciated” by new manager Xavi.
Xavi was speculated to have discussed a possible move for Liverpool’s No. 6 with club president Joan Laporta, though on the surface, that seemed questionable.
While the likes of Sky Sports, the Liverpool Echo and AS picked up the claim, that Almeida is far from the most established source suggested the news could be dismissed.
However, Barcelona have now confirmed that an agreement in principle has been reached over a free transfer for Alves.
Alves, whose deal with Sao Paulo was terminated in September, joins for the remainder of the season, though cannot play for Xavi’s side until January.
That the return of Alves has been confirmed has fuelled speculation over interest in Thiago, who has struggled to find his feet since joining Liverpool from Bayern Munich.
Thiago is undoubtedly a world-class player, but his persistent fitness issues have kept him from building momentum in the side, having only recently recovered from a calf injury.
The 30-year-old has two-and-a-half years remaining on his contract with the Reds, and is clearly an important player for Jurgen Klopp, but it remains to be seen whether a reunion with Xavi would tempt him.
As it stands, the links should still be taken with a pinch of salt, and Thiago is expected to resume his duties as a first-choice starter for Liverpool upon the season’s resumption.
But it could be a case of no smoke without fire, particularly given Xavi appears set on bringing in players he is already familiar with.