Liverpool left with tough decision to make as LaLiga giants earmark midfield ace in five-strong summer blitz

Liverpool trio Roberto Firmino, Thiago Alcantara and Fabinho

Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara is one of five players that Barcelona will target in the summer transfer window, according to a report in Spain.

The 31-year-old has been on the Reds books since September 2020 when they paid Bayern Munich £20m for his signature. The Spain international has been one of the Merseysiders’ most influential players, enjoying 93 outings in all competitions. However, he has struggled with a string of niggling injuries and is currently sidelined with a thigh problem.

The former Barca star has not played since the 3-0 loss to Wolves on February 4.

Jurgen Klopp has hinted that he is nearing a return and it remains to be seen if he plays any part against Arsenal on Sunday.

The Anfield outfit could certainly do with him back in the ranks. They have won just four of ten games during his absence and sit eighth in the Premier League table.

A top-four finish seems beyond them as it would take a huge late-season rally to bridge the 10-point gap to Manchester United.

Liverpool will need their best players fit and raring to go if they are to challenge for a Champions League spot.

Thiago certainly falls into that category and the last thing that Klopp will want is an unsettled player.

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But that is what might be on the cards if the rumours prove to be true.

A report by Diario AS states that Thiago is on the Catalans’ five-man shortlist to revamp their midfield in the off-season.

Thiago still has much to offer

Barcelona look set to stroll to the LaLiga title in 2022-2023. Xavi has guided his charges to a 12-point lead over Real Madrid at the top of the Spanish top-flight standings.

However, they were thrashed 4-0 by Real to exit the Copa del Rey earlier this week. And Manchester United ousted them from the Europa League in February.

Their focus is on winning the league and then adding further quality to the squad ahead of next season.

Thiago would provide that. But the report claims Barca are also keen on Dani Olmo, Xavi Simons, Arnau Martinez and Sergio Gomez.

All at Liverpool will hope that the Nou Camp giants land one of their other targets and leave Thiago alone.

The Italian-born schemer started all 14 of his league appearances this term before injury struck. And he is still a vital part of the Liverpool engine room.

Thiago is under contract with the north-west outfit until the summer of 2024. There has been no indication that the club wants to sell him.

A recent link between the player and Turkish side Fenerbahce was quickly quashed by transfer guru Fabrizio Romano.

But the pull of Barca might be tough to resist. He made 101 appearances for the Blaugrana between 2008 and 2013 before leaving for Bayern.

And the man with 46 Spain caps played with manager Xavi during his stint at the club.

The link makes sense although AC Milan are also thought to be keen. However, he is a Liverpool player and is thought to be happy at Anfield.

However, club officials will need to make a move on his current terms or risk losing him for nothing at the end of next season.

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