While Bayern Munich was clinching a spot in the Champions League finale, speculation ran amok regarding Liverpool’s alleged pursuit of Thiago Alcantara. Specifically, some English media outlets are wondering if Jürgen Klopp has grown reluctant to add another starting-caliber talent to a roster that is already heavy on midfielders.
Whether Klopp really is hesitant or simply engaging in a bit of negotiating through the press, he has some important decisions to make regarding his midfield group. The Independent broke down Liverpool’s current midfielders and makes it pretty clear that the squad might not be best-equipped to take on another big-name, high-salary midfielder:
Xherdan Shaqiri’s appearances were restricted to just 11 last season, partly due to injury, but the Swiss international has shown no inclination to leave either publicly or privately. Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner are all targeting greater game time in the new campaign. In terms of Klopp’s preferred midfield three of Fabinho, captain Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum, there is only a question mark over the long-term future of the latter.
The Independent also adds that Wijnaldum has been loosely linked to FC Barcelona now that Ronald Koeman is in charge, and also that Liverpool is actively shopping both Marko Grujic and Harry Wilson. Grujic, of course, just finished up a stellar loan stint with Hertha Berlin, while Wilson played for Bournemouth on loan last season.
Independent writer Melissa Reddy, who is known to be an extremely reliable source of news for the Reds, noted that Klopp’s strong focus on maintaining team chemistry might ultimately preclude him from adding Thiago to what could be a volatile mix within his team’s midfield group:
There is too much uncertainty at present for concrete declarations, but the basic line from Anfield is that Thiago is a player they would love to have under the right circumstances – and a factor in that is having space in the midfield for him without disrupting squad harmony.
Regardless, Reddy also notes that Thaigo’s rumored links to both Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain could ultimately force Liverpool’s hand one way or the other.
Like any story involving the potential transfer of a star player from one power club to another, Liverpool’s alleged pursuit of Thiago is not as easy as the Spaniard just inking his name to a contract. While some reports already claim Thiago has agreed to personal terms and is eyeing prime real estate in Liverpool, there are still many unknowns. How much does Bayern Munich officially want for the 29-year-old? How much is Liverpool willing to pay? And, of course, how does Thiago fit in the strategic vision for Liverpool’s roster?
None of those questions are really close to being answered and that is primarily because Bayern Munich has some important business to attend to in Lisbon over the next few days. Either way, with the transfer deadline extended to October 5th, Bayern Munich and Liverpool have a long time to find a way to make it work financially if Klopp decides that Thiago is just too good to pass up.