Premier League • England

Barcelona primed to land Liverpool star as wage demands ‘scare’ two Serie A titans, with Italian deal ‘out of reach’

Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota, Liverpool

Liverpool duo Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota

Barcelona are in pole position to sign midfielder Thiago Alcantara from Liverpool, as his significant salary has put him ‘out of reach’ of two Italian heavyweights, according to reports.

Thiago had a stop-start campaign in 2022/23, as he spent time in the treatment room with hamstring and hip injuries. Despite that, Thiago did still manage to make 28 appearances in all competitions, as Jurgen Klopp’s side finished fifth in the Premier League and reached the Champions League last 16.

However, Thiago’s injury woes have gone from bad to worse this term, as he is yet to actually play for Liverpool amid his recovery from hip surgery.

With the 32-year-old’s contract at Anfield expiring next summer, rumours have begun to circulate about a possible move away from Liverpool.

On October 11, it emerged that Barcelona are looking to repeat the success of their free-transfer swoop for Ilkay Gundogan by signing Thiago once he becomes a free agent at the end of the season.

Earlier this month, one reported stated that Thiago is ‘expected’ to leave Liverpool next summer, as owners FSG do not want to hand a new contract to an ageing player with a poor injury record.

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Recently, Juventus and Inter have been named as potential suitors for the Spain international, who was actually born in Italy.

Italian source Tutto Juve have now provided an update on the situation, and it looks like Thiago is more likely to head to La Liga than Serie A.

Two Serie A titans will struggle to sign Liverpool ace

The report confirms that Juve and Inter are both keen to sign Thiago. They believe he would be an excellent addition to their respective midfields, especially as he would not cost a penny in transfer fees.

Although, Thiago’s wage demands are likely to cause a big issue. According to Spotrac, he currently earns £200,000 a week at Liverpool. And the 46-cap international would probably want a similar wage when moving to his next club.

That figure is ‘scary’ for Inter, while it is also ‘out of reach’ for Juve. They will still send Thiago contracts offers, but those proposals will come in at closer to £100k per week, and it is unclear whether Thiago would consider them.

As such, Barca can now be considered frontrunners in the race for Thiago. Xavi’s side clearly have financial problems of their own, but they still have more money to spend on wages than Juve or Inter.

A move to Italy would be an attractive one for Thiago, as he has never played in the country of his birth. Instead, though, he has a good chance of securing a return to Catalonia.

Thiago came through the Barca academy before going on to make 100 appearances in their first team between 2011 and 2013. The classy star then had a hugely successful seven-year spell at Bayern before landing at Liverpool in September 2020.

Should a switch to Barca end up falling through, then Thiago could consider offers from the Saudi Pro League. His former Liverpool team-mates Jordan Henderson, Roberto Firmino, Fabinho and Sadio Mane are all currently picking up huge sums of money in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, a trusted source has confirmed Liverpool are actively pursuing a Leeds United ace after scouting him on ‘multiple’ occasions.