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Thiago ponders Barcelona return

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The Spanish midfielder insists his focus is on the FIFA World Cup but refuses to rule out a return to Barcelona.

Real Madrid CF v FC Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final: Second Leg Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Bayern Munich’s midfield maestro, Thiago Alcantara, has not closed the door on a return to former club, Barcelona. The Spaniard has been training for the national team ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Russia, but the current Bayern no. 6 has not made his future at club level certain. He has reportedly thought of a return to the Camp Nou.

Italian-born to Brazilian parents, Thiago rose through the famous La Mesia ranks and made his senior debut with the Barcelona first team in 2009, scoring seven goals in 68 appearances during his four seasons at the club. After leaving Barcelona for €25 million in 2013, the Spaniard has grown into one of Die Roten’s key starters. Thiago said in 2017,

Barcelona will always be my home, not just because I love the club, but also the city . . . I am really happy at Bayern, but football changes a lot. Anything can happen.”

In a new interview with Mundo Deportivo, however, Thiago seemed even more unsure about his near future at Bayern. Pressed about a potential transfer to Barcelona or continuing at Bayern, Thiago finally conceded (Goal.com),

Let’s see. I told you I renewed [my contract] with Bayern last year, but it’s very complicated. Football is very difficult . . .

Thiago’s contract will expire in June 2021, but after a sour ending to the domestic campaign, Bayern have come under some pressure to consider selling the midfielder for the appropriate fee—most recently, Lothar Matthaus.

The Spaniard’s season finale was cut short by interim manager, Jupp Heynckes, in their DBF-Pokal battle against Eintracht Frankfurt at the Olympiastadion in Berlin. Thiago was subbed off and left the pitched unsatisfied, suggesting some disappointment about his playing time in a crowded midfield.

Bayern Munich will bolster their squad this summer with German international, Leon Goretzka, transferring from FC Schalke. Yet, should Thiago leave Bayern to return to Barcelona, it would be hard to dismiss the loss as a minor setback.