Liverpool have taken their first steps towards bringing Thiago Alcantara to Anfield by reportedly lodging their opening gambit for the midfielder.
The Spanish midfielder has entered the final year of his deal and looks likely to leave Bayern before long. He turned down a new deal in Bavaria, doing so at the final hour of negotiations.
There remains uncertainty over where his future lies, with several reports touting Liverpool as his next destination. However the Reds are unwilling to pay Bayern’s asking price for a player in such a situation.
Bayern are said to be seeking €30m for the player and Liverpool will likely need to see what Georginio Wijnaldum’s plans are first. To that end, Jurgen Klopp held key transfer talks with the Holland star.
The matter of bringing Thiago to Anfield looks further complicated by a recent statement made by the Spain midfielder.
“I have not said at any time that I am leaving. Every year you put me in a different team,” he said.
“I am on the sidelines, my future is Sunday’s game right now. I neither care nor am I interested in what I know I talked.”
Indeed, there is a feeling that Liverpool and Bayern are playing a tactical game over Thiago’s future.
However, according to transfer expert Constantin Eckner, Liverpool have now stepped up negotiations to sign Thiago. As such, he claims the Reds have made an opening £22.7m (€25m) bid to test Bayern’s resolve.
Furthermore, Eckner claims Liverpool already have ‘an agreement in place’ with Thiago on a contract at Anfield. Although not specified, Liverpool are thought to have offered Thiago a three-year deal.
Whether they reach an agreement with Bayern, however, remains to be seen. The Bundesliga champions know he will be able to negotiate a Bosman free transfer from January 1 and don’t want to lose him for nothing.
Neville insists Thiago is a transfer must for Liverpool
Gary Neville, meanwhile, has told Liverpool the signing of Thiago must be made a priority for two big reasons.
Firstly, the United great reckons Liverpool need a player of his quality to prevent a drop-off in standards this season. Secondly, he believes the signing of such a world-class star will prevent a malaise setting in among their current squad.
“To get to a Champions League final, win it the following season, and then to go again to win the Premier League title is a huge emotional drain on that group of Liverpool players for three years,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“To ask them to go again and achieve that same standard would be a superhuman effort.
“It wouldn’t be ridiculous to suggest there will be a slight drop-off. If they don’t somehow stimulate that squad by doing something to give them that lift again.
“Thiago would be the big one. He is world class and would give them a world-class presence in an area of the field where they don’t have one.”