It has felt like an eternity since Liverpool were originally touted with an interest for Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara while speculation surrounding a possible move has lingered on since.
It was reported on August 17 that The Guardian and transfer guru Fabrizio Romano reported that Liverpool were keen on the prospect of landing the Spanish international although the club were reluctant to pay the £27 million asking price.
It was at this point that Liverpool fans started to believe that if the club wanted the player badly enough, then an announcement regarding an official bid would be in the imminent future.
However, there was no announcement and three days later reputable Liverpool journalist Melissa Reddy reported that unless the club were to sell one of their current midfielders – a situation Liverpool expect not to happen – then a move for Thiago just wasn’t feasible.
So what went wrong?
First let’s take a look at the key points from The Guardian’s original article: “Liverpool are interested in signing the Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcântara but have told the Bundesliga club they are not prepared to pay £27.2m (€30m) for the 29-year-old Spaniard, who has one year left on his contract.
“Bayern are reluctant to let the Spain international go and have not relented on their asking price. Thiago is keen to join Liverpool, being an admirer of the team’s style of play under Jürgen Klopp.
“Liverpool are currently waiting to see if Bayern’s stance softens. Unless another club comes in for him this summer, he could sign a pre-contract with Liverpool in January.”
What is most striking is that Bayern are not only ‘reluctant’ to sell but the club will not ‘relent’ on their price which means if Liverpool aren’t willing to pay then a deal was already dead in the water.
The phrase ‘Liverpool are currently waiting to see if Bayern’s stance softens’ provided hope yet over two weeks following the publication of the article a deal still remains nowhere close to the table.
James Pearce then backed Reddy’s stance that Liverpool will only sign Thiago if they were to lose one of their key members this summer.
Although Georginio Wijnaldum has been linked with a move to Barcelona this week, Pearce claimed that the 29-year-old was more than happy at Liverpool and will not be pushing for a move to the Camp Nou.
Speaking during The Athletic’s Red Agenda podcast, Pearce said: “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 from The Athletic and regular Liverpool contributor 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.”
Reports continued to speculate and Romano even provided another update on Wednesday (September 4) that Liverpool and more importantly Jurgen Klopp were pushing towards a move for Thiago and the club were expected to come in with a new bid for Bayern.
Liverpool are still working to get Thiago Alcantara. Bayern are now convinced they’re gonna receive a new bid from #LFC soon. Klopp pushing again for Thiago. Manchester United only had contacts with his agent at the moment – nothing advanced between clubs. 🔴 #Liverpool #Thiago
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) September 2, 2020
Should we be hopeful?
Perhaps what was missing during a critical two weeks were comments from the player himself which finally arrived yesterday evening following Spain’s encounter with Germany in Stuttgart.
Thiago hasn’t taken an extended holiday as he played the full 90 minutes for his country as Spain played out a 1-1 stalemate Germany in the UEFA Nations League.
Following the 1-1 draw, the player on the lips of every Liverpool supporter was asked about his future and for the first time, there seemed to be an admission he could stay at Bayern Munich.
Speaking to ZDF as per Sport Bild he said: “I only think about the game against Ukraine. Afterwards, we will see.”
“Bayern is my home and I am happy to be there.”
It feels like a critical two weeks ahead if Liverpool are going to land Thiago.
While it is not impossible that a deal could be struck closer to deadline day, it is hard to see this befitting either club involved, or indeed the player.
Bayern will want time to draw up a replacement, and if a deal can be done in the next fortnight, they will have plenty of scope to do so.
Thiago pledging his commitment to Bayern doesn’t work well in Liverpool’s favour as it could suggest that the player himself has come to terms that a move to Anfield just isn’t viable this summer.
Right now we should be optimistic, but with the team rather than the prospect of Thiago signing.
Liverpool’s transfer committee have more than warranted our trust over the years and if they believe the deal is worth pursuing then it is safe to assume that the right decision will be made in the end.
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