Friday, August 7, 2020

Contrasting reports about Alcantara and Liverpool

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Media reports about a potential move by Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich to Liverpool this summer are as contrasting as opinions on whether it would make sense for the newly crowned Premier League champions to actually sign the midfielder or not.

Stories first broke out about Thiago’s reluctance to agree a new deal with his current club and his wish to try his rarely disputed qualities in the English top flight, with Liverpool his first choice among potential destinations. The initial rumour itself was greeted with excitement from a large portion of the Reds’ supporters, but also with a word of caution from some who didn’t consider the move likely.

And then, on Saturday afternoon, Italian journalist Tancredi Palmeri broke the ‘news’ that Liverpool had agreed personal terms with the former Barcelona man. Apparently, a bid of €30 million, plus €5m in add-ons, was forthcoming. The excitement reached a very high level and the doubts abated somewhat, but then, as is their wont, Liverpool Echo dismissed the whole thing.

Following up on Palmeri’s claim, they say they’ve done ‘a bit of digging’ and were told that the rumours were unfounded.

Right now, anything seems possible. It could be that Thiago’s representatives have thrown the name of Liverpool to the media in an attempt to present their client to be in demand at the highest level, so they can secure him a deal more lucrative than any one he would normally be getting, whether from Bayern or any other club. On the other hand, it could be that a deal is actually in the pipeline but Liverpool are trying to keep it quiet, wanting to avoid a repeat of the Timo Werner scenario when Chelsea suddenly moved in and stole the march on them to sign the RB Leipzig striker.

On one hand, the presence of Thiago in this Liverpool team would mean some welcome creativity added to their robust midfield section, which they’ve occasionally appeared to lack since the departure of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in January 2018, despite the successes they’ve achieved in the last two and a half years. On the other, they are a well-oiled machine at the moment, and signing a 29-year-old player with a questionable injury record would seem very much unlike the way they’ve been operating under current owners, Fenway Sports Group. And looking at it from yet another angle, the possibility that they may feel a different approach is needed when they set out to defend the Premier League title next season cannot be ruled out at this stage.


Veselin Trajkovic

Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on four different football blogs.



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