Ah, Thiago Alcantara. How we’ve speculated about thee.
The noise has been going on long enough and loud enough without being definitively shut down by any well connected journalists that it feels as though there’s at least something to this. Whether we actually intend to sign him is unclear, as it’s entirely possible he’s just an option if Gini Wijnaldum leaves. Or he intends to go elsewhere and Liverpool are being used to broker a deal.
If he does join another club, he seems to have suitors. Other suitors in the Premier League, in fact. Simon Jones of the Mail on Sunday reports that Arsenal are interested in the Bayern midfielder. Arsenal don’t have an awful lot of money right now and might not be able to reach his asking price (certainly in a bidding war), but it does seem like they want him. This shouldn’t surprise us too much. Arsenal’s midfield is, well, it’s been better.
Mikel Arteta has surely heard plenty of good things about Thiago from his former boss Pep Guardiola. When Guardiola arrived at Bayern, he insisted the club immediately sign the midfielder from Barcelona, claiming he wanted “Thiago or no one”, such was the extent to which he rated the Spain international. Which brings us to...
Yes, it’s them. French website Soccer Link is claiming that Man City would like the midfielder, but that Liverpool have a “considerable lead”. Frankly, I’ve never heard of Soccer Link, so I’m sceptical they have great sources at either City or Bayern. But this has always felt like something that could happen. City’s midfield has been both too porous and lacking in control this year, with Ilkay Gundogan and Rodri offering neither the necessary protection from counters nor the ability to control games as Guardiola would like. A firm favourite midfielder of his on the market could tempt him.
It still feels, though, that he’s Liverpool’s if we really want him. Which is a big if. People can make pros and cons about him all day, but at this point, we’re trusting the club to make the right call on this. If he’s actually a top target, expect him to arrive.