Liverpool remain linked with Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara after it has been reported in Germany that the Spaniard has rejected a new contract offer at the Allianz Arena. However, this all comes with the big caveat that Jurgen Klopp has once more reiterated there will be no major spending at Anfield this summer.
Many Liverpool fans have been keen for the Reds to strengthen this summer, despite recently ending a 30-year wait for a league title in record time. And Thiago’s uncertain future at Bayern has seen him move into a position where he has been labelled a potential target.
The 29-year-old, who won seven trophies with Barcelona prior to joining Bayern in 2013, has entered the final year of his contract in Munich and has not yet agreed an extension. That puts pressure on Bayern to sell before he potentially becomes a free agent in 2021.
According to Sport Bild, Thiago will now be for sale this summer as a result of rejecting the contract offer from Bayern he had been hold out for, something which came as a surprise to the club.
The report explains that Thiago had been seeking a long-term four-year contract. Bayern were only willing to offer three years, with the option of a fourth, but were bending more and more to the wishes of the player’s camp. Eventually, they offer the straight four-year deal he wanted.
However, it is also said that the club was shocked when Thiago refused to sign and asked for more time to think and weigh up his options. The player is then said to have gone back to the club and informed them he will not sign the deal and wants to leave in search of a new challenge.
Bayern have decided that Thiago must be sold, with Liverpool the club most heavily linked. But there has been no offer from the Reds, who are only said to value the player at €20m (£18m), whereas Bayern would ask for around double that amount - €40m (£36m).
Klopp’s latest comments this week on potential summer business would appear to rule out major outlays, with the club understandably cautious in the current financial climate.
“To strengthen the squad you need money and these are uncertain times. Obviously, uncertain times means for some clubs we cannot do what we would do in non-uncertain times,” the Liverpool boss said at a video press conference ahead of this week’s game against Arsenal.
“Ask me can we develop the squad and it is probably possible, but only with real money.
“We have talents ourselves, big talents, and players who can make big steps in our squad. But buying now? If we have money, we will spend. If we do not know if we will have money, we probably will not spend that much. That is how it is.”
A few days earlier, Klopp said he is happy to ‘leave the door open’ to new arrivals, but suggested that the biggest challenge is actually finding players who can genuinely improve the current squad, who are currently reigning English, European and world champions.
“I'd like to leave the door open for players," Klopp said. "Whether that's young players or experienced players who didn't play exactly as much as they maybe wanted, it's difficult to answer the question because of how the situation is.
"If there is an opportunity for us then we will try to improve the squad but I don't know if it's possible, it's really hard to improve the group. With a team like us, how can you buy a player with the same quality as Bobby [Firmino] or Sadio [Mane]? It's not possible.”