Liverpool are linked to a recognisable player. A big name player. An obviously very good player. But there are doubts. Something about his age or wage or his transfer fee or injury record or just the fact he doesn’t fill an obvious need makes it all seem just a little off.
Then, in the end, he moves to another club. Some fans grumble, but the reality was that Liverpool were never actually interested in said big name player—that the club’s name was only ever used by the agent or selling team to drum up a bigger fee or a better deal.
We’ve seen it before. Whether in the end the story is the same now with Thiago Alcântara only time will tell, but we appear to perhaps be moving towards it with German chatter today that after weeks of supposed Liverpool interest, Manchester United are involved.
As SportBild’s Christian Falk tells it, United’s interest in Thiago is very real and growing—but all things being equal, the player would still prefer an Anfield move. One imagines, perhaps, that a better wage packet might just help convince Thiago that all things aren’t equal.
There is, just maybe, a way to make Thiago to Liverpool make sense if Gini Wijnaldum is set on not signing a new deal and the club intend to part ways this offseason. If that isn’t the case, though, Thiago’s signing never has and never would make any kind of sense.
A 29-year-old with a spotty injury record and wages reportedly north of €200k per joining when Liverpool should be shifting their age profile younger would be a radical recruitment shift—in the midst of a global pandemic that has caused financial uncertainty, no less.
It is, not to put too fine a point on it, the kind of transfer Manchester United have become known for since the departure of Alex Ferguson nearly a decade ago. It’s the kind of transfer that has aided in their decline and now reduced standing in England and Europe.
So here we are. After a month of German and Spanish chatter about Thaigo to Liverpool—chatter the local, connected journalists have remained largely cool on—United are finally on the scene to battle the Reds for his signing. We can’t say we’re entirely surprised.