Photo by Michael Regan - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

James Pearce and Simon Hughes comment on the Thiago and Wijnaldum conundrum

Thiago Alcantara is vastly becoming the most talked about transfer saga this summer as reports continue to develop regarding the future of the Bayern Munich midfielder.

LISBON, PORTUGAL – AUGUST 23: Thiago Alcantara of FC Bayern Munich celebrates with the UEFA Champions League Trophy following his team’s victory in the UEFA Champions League Final match between Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich at Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica on August 23, 2020 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Michael Regan – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Fabrizio Romano of The Guardian recently reported that Liverpool were in talks to sign the Spanish international although the Reds were reluctant to pay the £27.2m (€30m) asking-price currently being touted by Bayern.

Melissa Reddy of The Independent recently claimed that the determining factor behind Liverpool potentially signing Thiago doesn’t hinge on the price of the player but more that the club will only buy the 29-year-old if the Reds are to lose one of their current midfielders – a situation they expect not to happen this summer.

This has prompted James Pearce to give his opinion on the Thiago matter and whether there is any truth in the rumours from Germany that a deal is indeed ‘close‘.

Pearce opted to take the same stance as Reddy and insisted that a deal is unlikely to happen unless someone else from the current squad were to go the other way which in effect would create an opening for Thiago.

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Speaking during The Athletic’s Red Agenda podcast, Pearce said: “Of course there’s interest [In Thiago], he’s such an elite performer that in normal circumstances Liverpool would go against their usual way of spending money, that kind of money on a 29 y/o who’s a free agent next summer.”

“I’m just not sure we would see any scenario that Thiago comes in without anyone going out the other way.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 29: (THE SUN OUT. THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT)Georginio Wijnaldum of Liverpool with David Luiz of Arsenal action during the FA Community Shield final at Wembley Stadium on August 29, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Wijnaldum factor

Following a number of reports from Spain, it appears that the possibility of Liverpool signing Thiago could hinge on the imminent future of midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum

According to SPORT in Spain, Barcelona have made the signing of Wijnaldum a ‘priority’, allegedly making it ‘non-negotiable’.

The Catalonia newspaper claimed this morning that Wijnaldum – who currently earns £75,000-a-week according to Spotrac – had ‘given the OK’ to join his former international manager Ronald Koeman at the Camp Nou next season.

Pearce then gave his view on the contractual standoff between Liverpool and Wijnaldum.

He claimed that although the 29-year-old Liverpool star isn’t pushing for a move away from Anfield, the fact that Koeman has been announced as Barcelona’s new head coach could play a factor in a potential deal.

He added: “Wijnaldum couldn’t agree on a deal last season, there are no active talks at the moment.

“He hasn’t done anything to push for a move so far, Liverpool are not actively looking to sell but you got the Koeman factor at Barcelona we know how close they are…”

Pearce’s colleague Simon Hughes also weighed in on the matter claiming that problems contractually stem from both Liverpool and Wijnaldum unable to agree on the length of a contract extension.

Hughes said: “The player [Wijnaldum] is at a a tricky age to be negotiating for, he’s 29. From what I was told the player wanted 4 years, and the contract that he’s being offered is a bit shorter than that.”

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