Despite a spotty injury record, Thiago Motta was a star for Barcelona. After stops at Atletico Madrid and Genoa, he was integral as Inter’s midfield anchor. Having moved on to PSG, he was then key to the French club’s attempts to spend their way into the top tier of European club football. With his role now uncertain and a year left on his contract, though, he’s looking to move on.
Now 32 years of age, the club see Motta as an important player but perhaps not a nailed-on starter. President Nasser Al-Khelaifi has said he isn’t for sale, but the player appears to have other ideas and wants out, which according to the Telegraph could lead him to Anfield should a rumoured deal for Asier Illarramendi fall through. It’s the kind of signing Liverpool will need if Lucas is sold, but it seems a stretch.
Motta remains a technically and tactically gifted player, but at his age and with his injury record it’s not entirely clear he would be an improvement on Lucas. For the player, meanwhile, that would seem to put him in the position of not being a guaranteed starter at Liverpool. And the main reason he now wants out of PSG is because he feels he can no longer be certain of starting week in and week out.
Plus there’s the small matter of Illarramendi supposedly being Plan A. The Telegraph say Motta is Plan B to the younger Spaniard, but sources with ties to Liverpool remain dubious that rumours linking the club to the out of favour Real man have any truth to them, which would make Motta something of a Plan B to a Plan A that may not—and if you believe the club’s briefed journalists does not—actually exist.
Still, for the right price, it’s hard not to at least be intrigued by the idea of Motta as a talented veteran presence. Particularly with Lucas on the block, Joe Allen injured, and fears now with Jordan Henderson’s foot injury that Liverpool could be facing Arsenal next Monday with two fit midfielders in a scenario that seems mildly surreal given the depth Brendan Rodgers had even two short weeks ago.
During pre-season, Rodgers' squad looked as deep as any available to a Liverpool manager in the Premier League era. Now, after two injuries and having alienated the club’s only natural holding player, there appears something of a midfield depth crisis just two weeks into the new season. So the club probably could use a player like Motta. It just seems unlikely they’re actually looking at him.