Rumours out of Germany. Rumours out of Spain. Rumours out of Italy. Rumours out of everywhere that isn’t England, pretty much, that Thiago Alcantara is all but signed, sealed, and delivered for Liverpool. That’s been the story of the past week.
It’s still a little difficult to make sense of it all, and today’s additions, led by claims from Italy’s TuttoMercato that the Reds have now hashed out terms with the player’s agents and that personal terms for a deal are in place, are really no different.
Thiago is a talent, a gifted midfielder manager Jürgen Klopp has talked in the past of being a fan of. Thiago is a 29-year-old with a spotty injury record who Bayern Munich officials have suggested doesn’t have the engine to play the double-pivot in big games.
Thiago would, if reports are to be believed, be available for around £30M and be willing to take a cut on his current Bayern wages—bringing his weekly down to around £135k—to move to England and join the Premier League champions-elect.
Thiago would, if he joined the Premier League champion-elects, make the average age of the squad older in a year when before coronavirus there had been talk of the need to refresh and get younger if the club wanted to establish a dynasty.
Which, reasonably, leaves us with two options. The easy one is that, no matter how loud the chatter surrounding Thiago to Liverpool gets, at the end of the day this is all agent-driven and with the goal a new Bayern deal or move to another top club.
The harder—or just more convoluted—one is that, with Liverpool champions, recruitment changes, and while it remains difficult to imagine FSG sanctioning making the squad older, as a replacement for a departing veteran player, Thiago could make sense.
Whereas three seasons ago, if Liverpool were set to lose a veteran they would be expected to go younger and look to keep building for the future, today if they were set to lose one they might consider a player in the same age bracket on similar wages.
Those are, reasonably, the two options. There is no third option where the club invest significantly—in this summer of all summers—in a veteran with a poor injury record either as a straight addition or to replace a younger player falling short of expectations.