Bayern Munich are expecting Liverpool to contact them over a transfer of Thiago Alcantara, according to The Athletic.
The stories linking the Spanish midfielder with the Premier League champions have been rather prominent in various media outlets in the last couple of months. Some of them, coming from Germany, have stated that the two clubs were already in talks, but it seems those talks are yet to begin.
Liverpool do appear interested and all reports agree that Thiago himself is keen on the move, but there are several aspects of a potential deal the Merseysiders are still considering. The player’s age and the duration of his contract with Bayern are among them.
The newly crowned European champions reportedly want €30 million, while Liverpool question whether they should be paying that amount for a 29-year-old player in the final year of his contract.
Several Liverpool players are in their prime at the moment, but that means they’ll be entering their declining years around the same time. Captain Jordan Henderson is 30, defender Virgil van Dijk will be as old in a year, forward Roberto Firmino turns 29 in October, Sadio Mane in April, Mohamed Salah in June next year.
Georginio Wijnaldum, like Thiago, is 29 and in the final year of his contract, and it remains to be seen whether he’ll be extending his commitment or leaving this summer. If he leaves, Liverpool’s decision about Thiago should become much easier.
However, choosing between Wijnaldum and Thiago isn’t as straightforward as many believe. Though the Bayern man would unquestionably bring quality and a new dimension to Jurgen Klopp’s midfield, Wijnaldum has been Liverpool’s most consistent player in the middle of the park in terms of availability since his arrival in 2016, with an average of 35 league appearances per season. Thiago has had 23.5 for Bayern in that time – a notable difference.
But all that isn’t to say Liverpool won’t be making a move for Thiago. After all, the club’s two most expensive signings in history, Van Dijk and goalkeeper Alisson Becker, arrived after months of speculation each. Alisson only became convinced of Liverpool potential after suffering a heavy defeat at their hands in the Champions League semifinals with AS Roma, while Van Dijk came half a season after Liverpool were forced to officially withdraw all interest in his services.
As Simon Hughes, the journalist for The Athletic, says, it’s now a waiting game. The possibility of Thiago ending up at Manchester City isn’t ruled out either, though at this point, he prefers Anfield as his destination.