Liverpool have finally taken the plunge on a move for Thiago Alcantara with a formal £27million bid for the Spain international.
Jurgen Klopp has been tracking the Bayern Munich midfielder all summer, and now the Reds are close to agreeing a deal for a player who has less than a year on his contract.
Contact between the two clubs happened in the last 24 hours, with talks progressing rapidly over a deal.
Liverpool have played hard ball over Thiago, insisting they will not pay over the odds for a player who will be 30 in April.
Thiago himself has waited patiently for his move, after refusing a new contract offered by the German club back in May.
Talks with Bayern broke down completely in June, when he made clear he wanted a new experience at a different club, with the Premier League his preferred destination.
That has led to months of speculation, with Liverpool’s interest clear, but with no formal approach from Klopp, who is a long term admirer of Thiago.
Now though, the Reds have taken the plunge, by moving close to the fee Bayern have demanded to release their Spanish international star, after threatening to keep him until the end of his contract next summer.
Talks are expected to proceed rapidly, with Liverpool prepared to meet Bayern’s demands, and the player keen on a move to Anfield.
The player has already agreed, in principle, personal terms with Liverpool, which will speed up the transfer process.
And the Italian-born, Spain international of Brazilian descent could even be signed in time to play for the club next week in the EFL Cup.
Liverpool play at Lincoln in the competition next Thursday, and manager Klopp could use the opportunity to give Thiago a gentle introduction to English football.
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Liverpool got their title defence off to a shaky start as they edged out a seven-goal thriller against Leeds.
In terms of transfers. The Reds remain keen on Bayern Munich’s Thiago Alcantara, but Georginio Wijnaldum continues to be linked with Barcelona. There’s a lot to keep track of.
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The Reds boss has pushed hard for the midfielder, insisting to his American owners that at 29, Thiago still represents good value.
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He has been a long term admirer of the player for many years, since he moved to the Bundesliga with Bayern back in 2013, when Klopp’s Dortmund had won the competition.
And he sees the midfielder’s passing range, and ability to retain possession and create momentum high up the pitch as offering a new dimension for his team, who will face new challenges as defending Premier League champions this season.
Klopp fought hard to persuade his bosses to change their usual transfer policy of signing young, promising players with potential, and adding value by improving them.
Thiago is a proven performer who won the the Champions League with Bayern this summer, and a player Klopp has long wanted to work with.
Will Thiago shine at Anfield? Have your say below.
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