Just eight days after signing on to manage his old club, FC Barcelona legend Xavi Hernández has already given the impression that he is looking to get the band back together.
Yesterday, the Catalan club announced a shock re-signing of another Barca legend in 38-year-old right-back Dani Alves. Alves, who had been a free agent, will officially register and make his return for Barca in January.
If the rumours are to be believed, Xavi is hoping Alves won’t be the only former teammate to join his side in the upcoming transfer window. According to Sport, the new manager is also eyeing a move for Liverpool’s Thiago Alcântara.
Thiago started his career at Barcelona, and made 100 appearances between 2009 and 2013 before making a move to Bayern Munich where he really made his name. In 2020, the midfielder made his £20 million move to Liverpool and signed a four-year contract.
That four-year contract is where things start to get complicated for Xavi’s hopes to bring Thiago back to Barcelona. Thiago has 2.5 years left on his contract, which means he won’t be available at a cut-rate, and Barcelona are widely known to be in some financial trouble. So, there are certainly doubts that they could even afford a move for the 30-year-old.
Next, even if Barcelona could afford Thiago, and they were serious about trying to secure a transfer, Liverpool are incredibly unlikely to be willing to sell a midfielder given the fitness troubles among their midfield players. They need every bit of midfield depth they can muster right now, and there is little chance they’d subtract from that depth in January.
Finally, and maybe even most importantly, Liverpool and Barcelona have a very ugly history that makes any deals between the two unlikely. The 2017-18 saga of Philippe Coutinho’s transfer to Spain left a bad taste in the mouths of everyone involved.
Liverpool were rightly furious with the way Barca tried to engineer the move by sowing discord, and Barca was essentially robbed blind with the big money deal providing a very poor return on their investment.
The men calling the shots at Barcelona have changed since the Coutinho fiasco, but it’s still extremely difficult to see Liverpool agreeing to even entertain the idea of selling another player to Barcelona for the foreseeable future unless the Catalan club comes to the table with an offer that is too absurd to ignore. And, given the previously mentioned financial struggles, that will almost certainly not be possible in the case of Thiago.
So, in summation, sorry Xavi, but your reunion tour will have to go on without Thiago Alcântara because Liverpool are not going to sell him to Barcelona.