Bayern Munich chiefs brought an end to weeks of speculation by urging Liverpool to conclude a deal to sign Thiago Alcantara last Monday, TEAMtalk can reveal.
The Spain midfielder is expected to be unveiled as a Liverpool player on Friday. His transfer to Anfield was agreed after Bayern chiefs reached out to their Liverpool counterparts in a bid to break the deadlock over one of the most talked-about transfers of the summer.
Bayern have been convinced for weeks that Thiago and his advisers had agreed a deal to sign for Liverpool after he turned down a new contract with the German champions. But formal negotiations over the transfer were not progressing until the German champions made the move to speed up the deal.
Former Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness went public on Sunday to accuse Liverpool of using tactic akin to ‘blackmail’. He suggested the Reds were hoping to get the 29-year-old Champions League for a reduced fee in the final week of the transfer window.
Yet Bayern have been adamant throughout the summer that they wanted €30m for the player, who told them he will not sign an extension to his contract that is due to expire next summer.
With Bayern keen to get Thiago’s future resolved before they started their Bundesliga campaign against Shalke on Friday night, senior officials at the Bavarian club urged Liverpool to conclude the transfer in conversations last Monday.
That led to a frantic period of activity that concluded with news that agreement had been reached for the transfer of Thiago, who is expected to fly to Liverpool on Friday to finalise the deal.
In the opinion of former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch, Liverpool needed to seal a deal for Thiago. He believes Klopp’s squad needed to be strengthened despite their dominant Premier League win last season.
“I always think you have to strengthen no matter how good your team are and Thiago was a player who is too good to walk away from,” Crouch said at a BT Sport event.
“When a top player comes in through the door, you feel training lift. It lifts the place, everyone wants to impress the new player and you don’t want to be left on the bench.
“If Thiago comes in, Champions League winner, he can share his knowledge with the younger players, it lifts training and it lifts the fans.
“You look at all the great teams and the build from a position of strength. Liverpool are in that position now and that’s why Thiago was a good deal for them.”
Thiago has agreed a four-year contract at Liverpool and will become the club’s joint-highest earner alongside Mohamed Salah.
Bayern boss Hansi Flick paid tribute to Thiago on Thursday and revealed he had said his goodbyes.
“Thiago is an exceptional player who spent seven hugely successful years here,” Flick said. “He’s a wonderful person and an outstanding professional. It was very emotional today when he said goodbye to us all.”