Liverpool have agreed a £27million fee with Bayern Munich to sign Thiago Alcantara.
The Reds have been linked with the Spain international, who starred in Bayern’s Champions League success last term, throughout the summer.
Thiago has been keen to leave Bayern after seven successful years in the Bundesliga for a new challenge.
And Jurgen Klopp has been determined to bring the 29-year-old to the Premier League, with the German a long-time fan of the playmaker.
Talks between the two parties have accelerated in the last 24 hours, with talks progressing rapidly over a deal as Bayern have been increasingly keen to sell ahead of the new Bundesliga season, given Thiago’s contract status at the club.
Now the Reds are closing in on his arrival.
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.
Thiago then intimated privately back in July that he was ready to leave Bayern, despite he and his family being happy and settled in Bavaria.
But earlier this month, while on international duty and amid public statements from the club’s top brass about selling him immediately rather than letting him run down his contract, he insisted he had not asked to leave.
“Bayern is my home and I am happy to be there,” he stated.
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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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However, Bayern boss Hansi Flick has been preparing for life without Thiago this term, with Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka set to become Bayern’s central midfield pairing.
Flick admitted before the club’s Champions League success last month: “As a person and as an athlete, I can understand him. Thiago played for Barcelona, and seven years for Bayern.
“Now he wants a new challenge, which in my opinion must be the Premier League.”
Will Thiago shine at Anfield? Have your say below.
That new challenge is now set to be at Anfield, in a move somewhat at odds with the Reds’ recent transfer dealings.
It goes somewhat against the grain for Liverpool to spend such a figure on a player of his age, who has suffered injury issues in previous years, and who will command a major salary – he will instantly be set among the highest earners at Anfield.
But in a Premier League where Liverpool are now dominating matches and dictating games with greater possession than ever before, they are now adding the deep-lying playmaker that has been lacking from their title-winning side.
As such, Klopp and the board have moved to bring a truly world-class talent to Merseyside, despite insisting there would be no major business in the current transfer window.
Ultimately, adding Thiago has proved too good an opportunity to turn down.
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