Thiago set to join Liverpool today in £20m deal
Liverpool expect to complete the signing of Thiago Alcantara today after agreeing an initial £20million fee with Bayern Munich.
The 29-year-old midfielder will head to Merseyside this morning to complete his medical and sign a four-year contract. Personal terms have already been agreed with the Spain midfielder.
The transfer window has sparked into life for the Premier League champions, and Liverpool’s spending may not end there. The club are also interested in Watford’s Ismaila Sarr, although they are yet to make an approach for the 22-year-old.
Watford will seek considerably more than the £35million they paid for the Senegal forward a year ago, which means there could be a massive difference in valuations should Liverpool decide to pursue their interest.
For now, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will be thrilled to have the Thiago deal so close after months of interest.
The fee may potentially rise to £25million should Thiago be part of a title-winning or Champions League-winning side over the course of his Anfield career. On request, he has been handed Liverpool’s No6 jersey.
Bayern will be deflated to lose the player, having offered him fresh terms following their recent Champions League victory and Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick said: “Thiago was an exceptional player for seven years for Bayern
Munich. The way he played he gave many options to the team and he solved problems in ways people did not expect.”
The deal represents more shrewd business by sporting director Michael Edwards. Bayern had previously said they wanted £27million for Thiago but, once negotiations formally began, they were resolved swiftly and the timing of the deal shows how eager Klopp and the club were to bolster the squad in this transfer window.
Liverpool have said that they are not in a position to invest in players without being sure of the return of revenue streams, and it is thought that players will have to be sold to fund major future purchases.
Thiago’s signing will allow Klopp to use Fabinho as central defensive cover, if needed, as the Spaniard is adept at playing the specialist position in front of the defence.
Should the deal go through without a hitch as anticipated, that may open up the possibility of Georginio Wijnaldum moving to Barcelona, although Liverpool have often said that development is not so simple. Wijnaldum is in the same position as Thiago in that he has a year remaining on his current contract and could leave for free in a year. Although the Dutchman has said he is happy to stay at Anfield and would like fresh terms, if an offer is not forthcoming he may want to explore his options and join Ronald Koeman at the Nou Camp.
But Liverpool have said their move for Thiago is independent of Wijnaldum’s situation and will not inevitably lead to him leaving Anfield.
On the move?: Georginio Wijnaldum has been linked with Barcelona