Manchester United and Chelsea have both inquired about signing Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich, a source has told ESPN FC. Thiago, 27, has been linked with a move away from Bayern this summer but sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić said the German champions planned to keep him.
With so many big clubs at play, it would be easy to think there is a bidding war for a player as skilled as Thiago, but it appears to be more of a buyer’s market.
A return to Barcelona has also been mooted, but ESPN FC has been told that interest from the Premier League has proved to be the strongest so far. Spain international Thiago joined Bayern in 2013 and has gone on to win the Bundesliga title five times as well as the DFB Pokal on two occasions. Bayern, who have nine midfielders in their senior squad, are set to sanction the sale of one or two players in that position ahead of their transfer window closing on Aug. 31. But for Manchester United and Chelsea, they only have until Aug. 9 to sign players following Premier League clubs’ agreement to shorten the transfer window.
It is no secret that Die Roten has too many midfielders rostered and that there is virtually no way that new coach Niko Kovač could possibly keep all of that talent - and all of those egos - happy. Understandably, the club is being cautious with all potential moves given the considerable skill level and fan popularity with most of the midfield group. Any potential move has ramifications on how Kovač can best align his players, along with how depth roles are maintained on the squad. For Kovač, versatility is a key asset.
Javi Martinez, Arturo Vidal, Sebastian Rudy, Corentin Tolisso, Leon Goretzka, James Rodriguez, Thomas Muller, Renato Sanches and Thiago are currently on their books. Sport Bild reported last month that Thiago was keen on a return to his old club, but kicker claimed Bayern wanted a €70 million fee and Barca would be reluctant to pay big money for a former player.
Knowing the surplus of talent in the midfield area, potential buyers are well aware that Bayern needs to make a sale of at least one or two (maybe three) players to make the situation manageable for Kovač and palatable for the players.
As the rumblings on potential moves continue to grow, we will provide updates as they are released.