In an interview with Bild, Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge admitted that Thiago Alcantara wants to leave the club. This comes on the back of rumors linking the Spaniard to Premier League champions Liverpool.
Speaking about Thiago's contract negotiations, Rummenigge described Thiago as "a top guy on and off the pitch. We negotiated seriously with him and satisfied all his wishes. But it looks like he would like to try something new again at the end of his career.”
On the alleged interest from Liverpool, Rummenigge denied receiving a bid: “We have still had no contact with Liverpool. If he wants to do that, we will have to deal with it.”
However, it looks like Bayern have no intention of letting a player like Thiago leave for free. Rummenigge made that abundantly clear, saying, “We do not want to lose any player for free next year. I will say that very clearly.”
What this means for the club
This is, of course, devastating news for fans who wanted Bayern to keep Thiago for a few more years. Since arriving from Barcelona in 2013, the Spaniard has earned the nickname of "maestro" for his exploits on the pitch. Gifted with excellent vision and silky skills, he fit Bayern's playstyle like a glove.
Unfortunately, he lost his starting spot to Leon Goretzka in recent weeks after sustaining a groin injury, but there is no reason why he couldn’t have won it back at a later date. However, maybe the prospect of not being a surefire starter has influenced Thiago’s decision to seek pastures new. If true, that would be a shame.
As for his destination — if Liverpool are indeed the ones who are in for the Spaniard, that's a scary thought. Someone like Thiago would be perfect for Jürgen Klopp's system, and contrary to popular belief he is well-suited for the physicality of the Premier League. However, there are reports that the Reds are reluctant to spend any money in the post-pandemic transfer market. They notably passed on Timo Werner, who joined Chelsea instead.
That puts Bayern in a tricky position. Given that Thiago’s contract expires next summer, there is a very real chance that the club will have to sell him at a significant discount to avoid losing him for free at the end of next season. This is the same scenario that enabled Bayern to get Leroy Sané from Manchester City for less than €60 million — life comes at you fast.
To focus on the positive side of things, Thiago’s departure could open up another slot in midfield, which would allow youngsters like Michael Cuisance and Tanguy Nianzou to make their mark next season. It could also prevent Corentin Tolisso from leaving the club — maybe he could stage a comeback. So it’s not all doom an gloom.
Overall, though, this state of affairs is just ... disappointing. Let’s hope that Thiago’s decision isn’t set in stone, and Hansi Flick can perhaps change his mind in the coming weeks. If not, we will have nothing else to say than “servus.”