It’s finally happening. An already terrifying Liverpool have struck fear into the heart of their domestic and European opponents by signing one of the game’s best players in Thiago Alcântara. A long and protracted saga appears to have finally come to an end, with the Spanish midfielder set for a Friday medical.
With personal terms between the player and the Reds having been agreed for weeks, the final hurdle had been the transfer fee, with both Bayern Munich and Liverpool finding a face-saving compromise in the form of an initial £20m with £5m in add-ons.
Of course, the preference in Bavaria was for the world-class Thiago to extend his expiring contract past 2021, but the pass master had apparently insisted on a new challenge, setting his eyes on Jürgen Klopp’s Premier League champions.
Since arriving in at the club from Barcelona in 2013, the 29-year-old has become a well-liked personality in the locker room and beloved by the fanbase, with many lamenting the loss of a player of brilliant talent matched only by his character.
“Thiago is an exceptional player who spent seven hugely successful years here,” Bayern manager, Hansi Flick told reporters at a news conference on Thursday.
“He’s a wonderful person and an outstanding professional. It was very emotional today when he said goodbye to us all.”
Despite entering into a crowded midfield at Liverpool, there is no doubt that the recent Champions League winner will bring a vastly different flavor to the squad and elevate standards at the club.
“I can only congratulate Jurgen Klopp,” Flick continued ruefully. “We lost a lot of quality with him.”
“I tried to change his mind. The farewell was difficult, he told me that he was looking for another challenge.”
There is a little chance that Thiago will be in the side for Saturday’s clash with Chelsea, but the hope will be that the midfield maestro will hit the ground running for what is shaping up to be an exciting campaign.