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Update: Thiago Alcantara will not join Barcelona

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The midfielder is in high demand — but will that translate to a transfer fee for Bayern Munich?

Paris Saint-Germain v Bayern Munich - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Michael Regan - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Football journalists should be put in charge of saving the planet, given how they’re so good at recycling news. It’s 2020, and once again we have rumors of Barcelona wanting to bring Thiago Alcantara back to the Camp Nou. Since the Spaniard transferred to Bayern Munich in 2013, not a single window has gone by without a “report” of this sort. Only difference is, this time it could actually happen.

According to Bild reporter Tobias Altschaffl, Barcelona management are interested in signing Thiago. Only problem is, their new coach only wants Georginho Wijnaldum — whom Liverpool are looking to sell. Completing this neatly packaged triangle is the fact that Liverpool also want Thiago, but can’t afford him unless they offload Wijnaldum. So basically, this one rumor encompasses the fate of two players and three separate clubs.

What does all of this mean? Well, imagine that you are Thiago Alcantara, a recent treble-winner and arguably the best midfielder in the world. What would you do in this situation?

  1. Sign a new contract with Bayern Munich, and keep winning titles with the best club in the world.
  2. Sign for Liverpool FC, play for Jurgen Klopp, and experience a new challenge in the Premier League, while still being a favorite for the Champions League.
  3. Join Barcelona, a club that didn’t appreciate you when you were there, who have major financial problems, are set to lose Leo Messi in a year’s time, and are basically falling apart at the seams.

Now I don’t claim to know you or Thiago, but I imagine that #3 is possibly the worst option you could pick. Given Barca’s situation at the moment, any player of Thiago’s caliber would have serious misgivings about joining. Sure, he might secure a fat salary, and he could get the chance to go back to Spain — but Thiago has never shown nostalgia for his time at Barca. In addition, Hansi Flick indicated that the Spaniard was looking for a “new challenge”, and going back to his old club doesn’t seem like it fits that criteria.

Of course, football is weird and anything could happen. Thiago could be plotting a move to FC Basel for all we know, and the Liverpool rumors are a smokescreen. Or maybe Bild’s getting their wires crossed (wouldn’t be the first time). A big problem with the current rumor is that Barca’s new coach, Ronald Koeman, doesn’t actually want the Spaniard, which is a big red flag. Are we supposed to believe that the pea-brains who run Barcelona have finally managed to target a player that actually fits their system? And they did it independently of their manager? No thanks, I’ll believe it when I see it.

For now, Thiago remains a Bayern Munich player. With the transfer window open until October, we’ll probably see more twists and turns in the saga as things develop. Let’s wait and see where it goes. I, for one, would be happy to see Thiago stay with us for the foreseeable future.


Update

According to Fabrizio Romano, nothing much has changed in terms of the transfers. Barca want Wijnaldum, and Liverpool want him to leave before they buy Thiago.


Update #2

According to ESPN Barcelona correspondent Moises Lorens, Thiago will not join the club.

Much ado for nothing then, don't you think?