LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 2, 2023: Liverpool's injured Thiago Alcântara before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Thiago transfer in January “unlikely” as injury layoff hits 7-month mark

Jurgen Klopp last used Thiago on the pitch in April with a long-term hip injury rendering him unavailable, but any January move is deemed “unlikely.”

The 32-year-old last laced up his boots for competitive action on April 26, coming off the bench in the 2-1 win – but since then, his focus has been on injury rehabilitation.

Hip surgery took place at the start of May, and a number of setbacks have since pushed his return to the start of 2024, extending his absence beyond eight months.

Thiago‘s injury, however, has not stopped reports from emerging over a potential January transfer, with his former club Barcelona part of the ongoing rumour mill.

It has long felt like just talk, and The Athletic‘s James Pearce has stated a winter move is “unlikely, despite some reports suggesting otherwise.”

The Spaniard’s contract expires in the summer and that is when a move is “more probable,” with both the player and Liverpool hoping he will have had time to contribute one last time before then.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 6, 2022: Liverpool's Thiago Alcântara during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 1 game between SSC Napoli and Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Time on the sidelines with injury can be a lonely experience, and Pearce explains Klopp and other staff members have made a point to keep his spirits up and keep him involved.

At the start of November, Klopp gave a more detailed explanation of when we could expect the No. 6 to return, saying: “It’s an ongoing thing.

“And we cannot put any kind of pressure there as well, but we expect him to be back probably start of the New Year.

“It’s now already November, that would mean another four weeks, I would say that’s probably a realistic thing to try.

“We can’t wait, to be honest, to have him back. The player is just exceptional.”

There is an obvious desire for caution when it comes to his return after a couple of setbacks already, but any contributions he could make in the second half of the season would be welcomed.

The midfield picture has changed drastically since he last played and while a contract extension is unlikely, a player of his quality can still help have a say on how successful the campaign will be.