Liverpool transfer target Thiago Alcantara is “putting pressure” on Bayern Munich to reduce the fee that they would accept for his services as he seeks to join the Premier League champions, says Jan Aage Fjortoft. Thiago is keen for a fresh challenge after seven years in Bavaria and is said to be enamoured with the idea of moving to Anfield.
The 29-year-old is out of contract at Bayern in 2021 but is keen to move on now, with the Bundesliga title-winners knowing this is the final window in which they can command a significant fee for the midfielder.
Bayern want to be compensated around £27million in order to part ways with Thiago, however, given the Spaniard remains a key cog of Hansi Flick’s side.
Thiago was crucial to the German giants’ Champions League triumph just last month with his controlling of the tempo in midfield.
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But despite Bayern’s ongoing success, Thiago is keen for a new adventure after seven trophy-laden seasons at the Allianz Arena and is said to believe Klopp’s Liverpool present the ideal destination.
Liverpool have not submitted any bids with it believed that they are reluctant to spend big money having only signed £11.75m left-back Kostas Tsimikas so far this summer.
And per Norwegian journalist Fjortoft, who has a web of connections with clubs in Germany, insists Spain international Thiago has upped the pressure on Bayern to lower their asking price by saying that he is publicly happy to stay at the club for the final 12 months of his contract.
Fjortoft told Empire Of The Kop: “Thiago said auf wiedersehen to his teammates at the end of the season…
“The management of Bayern said he would leave and that they ‘expect an offer in the coming days’. Then they put a €30m price-tag on him and the rest is poker.
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“Now it seems like no club wants to pay that amount for 29-year-old – a player that has been struggling with injuries.
“So by saying he doesn’t mind staying, Thiago is actually putting pressure on Bayern to accept a lower fee – as the club will lose him on a Bosman come January 1 – for nothing.”
Thiago had said on international duty last week: “Bayern is my home and I am happy to be there.”
Meanwhile, Sky Sports and ex-Manchester United defender pundit Gary Neville believes Liverpool need an injection of fresh quality in the form of Thiago to keep their sensational form of recent seasons up.
Klopp’s charges won the Premier League with a club-record 99 points last term after winning the Champions League the year before while also racking up 97 points in the league, narrowly missing out on the title on that occasion to Manchester City.
Neville said: “The one that I think that scarily would excite me the most is Thiago to Liverpool. I think Liverpool need that player.
“Because the team’s been so good, the coach has been so good it would feel like if they didn’t sign someone at this point, the players in that dressing room would probably want that challenge of a new player coming in.
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“He’s such a brilliant player. Liverpool need [a player like that]. He would be an outstanding player.
“To get to a Champions League final, win it the following season, and then to go again to win the Premier League title is a huge emotional drain on that group of Liverpool players for three years.
“To ask them to go again and achieve that same standard would be a superhuman effort.
“It wouldn’t be ridiculous to suggest there will be a slight drop-off, if they don’t somehow stimulate that squad by doing something to give them that lift again.
“Thiago would be the big one. He is world class and would give them a world-class presence in an area of the field where they don’t have one.”
Liverpool meanwhile get the defence of their Premier League title underway on Saturday against newly-promoted Leeds United (5.30pm kick-off, live on Sky Sports).
Klopp said ahead of that showdown to BBC Radio 5 Live: “I know, for us, we have a really tough start. We start against Leeds United, who’ve waited 16 years to be back in the Premier League.
“First game, world-class manager, bam, bam bam. All that stuff, coming to Liverpool for a historic game, it will be very, very tough, the specific way Leeds are playing.
“We have to be ready, really ready. Full of desire again, we have to really make the hard runs, the intense runs.
“It’s what we try to prepare for. In the end, we can talk about football, passing the ball, that’s important, but the difference will be made by how much it means to you.
“We have to show how much it means to us and hopefully we can start with that on Saturday.”
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