Liverpool transfer news: Klopp urged to seal ‘absolute bargain’ £25m deal for ‘diamond’ | Football | Sport
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp would be getting “an absolute steal” by signing Thiago Alcantara for around £25million this summer, reckons German football expert Rafa Honigstein.
The Reds have been repeatedly linked to the Spain international, who Bayern have confirmed will not be signing a new deal at the Allianz Arena with his current deal set to expire in the summer of 2021.
The 29-year-old wants a fresh challenge after seven years at Bayern, which have yielded seven straight Bundesliga titles and also four DFB-Pokal triumphs.
Liverpool have downplayed links to the Barcelona academy graduate but reports in Germany have suggested Thiago is Anfield-bound.
And Honigstein thinks Klopp would be adding a player to their squad who they do not currently have, with the ball-playing Thiago renowned for his technical ability on the ball.
He believes that the midfielder, who would cost between £25m and £30m, is the kind of talent every major club across Europe would usually be keen to sign if not for the financial repercussions of COVID-19.
Explaining Thiago’s situation, Honigstein toldpodcast: “Bayern have put a contract on the table, they thought he’d agreed, he changed his mind and at that moment Bayern are thinking, ‘okay he’s got a deal with someone else.’
“But that someone else is yet to reveal their hand, there has been no firm offer from anyone.
“I think Bayern are bracing themselves for Liverpool because that’s the club he’s been linked with, that’s the rumours in the dressing room, as reported by Sport BILD, that he’s been talking about Liverpool.
“We haven’t seen any offer from Liverpool coming in and Liverpool themselves have distanced themselves repeatedly from making a move for Thiago. That could just be part of their strategy at this moment in time.
“I think Bayern are now more or less resigned to him leaving, which is a big blow for them. He’s been running the game until very recently and is an absolute key player in my mind.
“It’s going to be very difficult to find someone like Thiago, who is so unique in his technical ability. It’s a blow for Bayern, something they didn’t expect.”
And Honigstein was effusive with praise for Thiago’s abilities, insisting that the experienced Spaniard, capped 37 times by his country, would be a bargain addition.
“In Germany they are saying well if Liverpool buy Thiago, they’re going to win every single game next year!” Honigstein joked of the Premier League champions, who won 32 of 38 top-flight matches in the season recently concluded.
“He’s just been so good. If there’s one player they’re missing in that midfield it’s that kind of technical player; more of a creator and a dribbler, somebody who can play the final pass and who also scores goals – most often spectacular goals.
“It’s not the type of player that Liverpool have accommodated in recent years and it will change the combination of dynamics of their midfield if you find space for him.
“You wonder who is going to miss out. But in terms of real quality and technique and unique skills any club in the world should be in for him.
“If Liverpool get him in a year when the traditional powerhouses on the continent for whatever reason just can’t do it, the deal would be an absolute steal for the kind of money Bayern are talking about – they’re saying £25m.
“He’s only got a year left on his contract, but for a player who’s going to be at his peak for another two or three years at least, that is still a bargain in my book.
“I’m upset that we’re losing him in the Bundesliga but whoever will get him, and it looks as if it could be Liverpool, will have an absolute diamond.”
Klopp said of Liverpool’s transfer plans, which have been impacted by the coronavirus crisis and forced the Merseyside club to abandon their interest in Timo Werner: “Are there players out there on the market who could help us as well? Probably, yes.
“This is the challenge for us, to improve a really good football team. But the time is a challenge as well.
“Nobody knows exactly what the future will hold for us, for all of us, so how can we make really expensive decisions about how we will deal with it?
“This team is how it is but that doesn’t mean we will not strengthen, we don’t want to strengthen.
“If we have to and we have the opportunity and we have the financial resources then it will always happen and we will always try.
“But at the moment it’s really, really a difficult time and this team makes pressure on each other by themselves internally. Training quality is really important and high.
“This is a difficult year for all football clubs in the world and I don’t think it’s a time where we talk about transfers like the rest around us did not happen.
“It’s just not possible, at least not for us. We cannot do it like this, other clubs maybe can, but this club is [run] in a specific way.
“This is our way, here we are. Is it the best way? I don’t know, but it’s ours and we will probably stick to that.”