Liverpool needed a left back so they went out and signed a left back. They now appear to need a centre half and goal scoring wide forward. Anything more, given the squad, would be seem to be more of a bonus than a necessity.
Which has made the incessant transfer talk, particularly out of Germany, suggesting the Reds would consider paying €30M or thereabouts to sign a highly talented but injury prone 29-year-old midfielder on high wages rather strange.
In case you’ve been living under a rock of late, we’re talking about Thiago Alcantara of Bayern Munich. A very, very talented midfielder. But also one at the wrong end of his prime years on big wages and with a bad injury record.
Still, despite the superficial odd fit—or at least divergence from Liverpool’s typical approach to recruitment, in the midst of a pandemic no less—the noise has been loud. And the noise has been insistent. And it got a little bit louder today.
Because as of today, it appears literally every pundit in the universe is jumping on the Bild+ story from late in the week claiming for the first time Liverpool have contacted Bayern and that there is now only one possible ending to the saga.
Mohamed Bouhafsi, chief of football for France’s RMCSport, says Thiago has agreed a four year deal with Liverpool and is so sure of a move he’s rented a house, while Viasport Norway pundit Jan Aage Fjortoft says finalised deal is “close.”
Sky talking head Fabrizio Romano says everything is in place but Liverpool are trying to get Bayern to come down on their €30M asking price, while SportBild chief Christian Falk says the deal will be done once Bayern’s European campaign ends.
Of course, none of the pundits saying these things have a flawless record. All have over the years gotten more wrong than right—most relevant here, perhaps, that Bouhafsi was one of the loudest voices pushing Pepe to Liverpool last summer.
Meanwhile, The Echo—far less in the know than before James Pearce joined The Athletic, it has to be said—continue to think a deal isn’t happening, and reliable Liverpool journalists like Pearce, Paul Joyce, and Meslissa Reddy remain silent.
Perhaps, then, it’s a case of pundits jumping on a big story, comfortable that even if they get it wrong it won’t do any damage to their reputations—knowing it’s easy to blame a miss on changes and developments and things falling through.
Or perhaps all the people talking about Thiago to Liverpool are hearing things. But even if they are, it remains a case of everything we’re hearing is coming from the side of Thiago, or Bayern, or Thiago and Bayern—and not Liverpool.
It’s difficult to write it off entirely when there’s so much noise; when so many people think it’s happening. Still, while there remains nothing from the Liverpool end, it’s hard to entirely believe this really is a deal on the verge of happening.