‘Made for this team’ – Ideal suitors can afford Liverpool star after transfer ‘mistake’

Date published: Wednesday 17th November 2021 8:58 - Samuel Bannister

Thiago Alcantara and Mohamed Salah celebrate

Barcelona will be able to afford Thiago Alcantara from Liverpool, according to one transfer expert who thinks he is “made for” Xavi’s team and not Jurgen Klopp’s.

Thiago was a statement signing for Liverpool in 2020. After a lengthy pursuit, they finally got their man in September of that year. He arrived as a Champions League winner with Bayern Munich. However, he hasn’t replicated those levels at Anfield.

The Spain international’s debut season in the Premier League did not go to plan. There were a range of reasons, including Covid-19 and injury issues. Even so, Liverpool would have been hoping for more from him.

There have been times when he has shown glimpses of his true quality. Overall, though, he is yet to reach the standards expected of him on Merseyside.

As such, there have already been reports that he could be shown the door. Although his contract runs until 2024, Thiago has been tipped to make way earlier.

The theory is that Liverpool could fund other signings by sacrificing the midfielder. For example, a new forward is on the menu for January and Thiago’s sale could help them sign someone.

Furthermore, there is already one suitor showing an interest in the 30-year-old. He has admirers at Barcelona, where he previously played between 2009 and 2013.

A former academy product of the Catalan club, Thiago left them for Bayern after 101 appearances. There may yet be a chance for him to add to that tally, though.

After the recent appointment of his former teammate Xavi as their new head coach, Barcelona are seeking to re-establish the identity that Thiago is familiar with.

With that in mind, Bild expert Christian Falk has confirmed that a return to Barcelona may make sense for Thiago. What’s more, the reporter deems his Liverpool transfer to have been a “mistake”.

Falk told Bild (as quoted by Sport Witness): “There we have our first true.

“You really have to say yes, he fits perfectly, and if he hadn’t had Xavi or [Andres] Iniesta in front of him as players in the past, he wouldn’t have gone to Bayern.

Thiago Alcantara juggling the ball before Liverpool v Osasuna

“He is a player who is made for this team and has been trained there. The question, of course, is whether they can afford him.

“The transfer fee from Bayern was €22m, but I think that will now be feasible, even for Barcelona.

“With Liverpool, you have to say quite clearly it’s a mistake and trying to get him is worth it.”

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Liverpool keen on Barcelona midfielder

While Liverpool would not necessarily miss Thiago too much, he would leave a void in their midfield. It will be important for them to maintain depth there.

Consequently, they are looking at potential replacements. Indeed, finding a new midfielder was already an area of focus when Georginio Wijnaldum left in the summer.

Coincidentally, one potential target to recently emerge – as detailed in Wednesday’s Euro Paper Talk – comes from Barcelona.

According to El Chiringuito, Barca are willing to listen to offers for Dutch midfield star Frenkie De Jong. As part of their continuing efforts to balance the books, he is someone they could cash in on.

Xavi already trusts youngsters Gavi and Pedri to fill any void in the Barca midfield. Therefore, he wouldn’t be fully against seeing De Jong leave despite his quality.

A price tag of around €70m has been mentioned. There have subsequently been claims that Liverpool – or Premier League title rivals Manchester City – could swoop.

Liverpool’s need is greater and so they may fancy their chances of signing him if willing to spend. De Jong could represent a parting gift from sporting director Michael Edwards, who will leave at the end of the season.

For Barcelona’s part, they would aim to reinvest the money from De Jong on other players. It remains to be seen if he could effectively swap places with the cheaper Thiago.

READ MOREBarcelona ‘have discussed’ Liverpool target as update puts transfer up for grabs

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