express: Thiago Alcantara would not be an immediate starter for Liverpool if he joins from Bayern Munich this summer, believes former defender Steve Nicol. The Reds have been heavily linked with a move for the Spaniard
Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge recently admitted that “it seems that he wants to do something new towards the end of his career”.
While Rummenigge insisted that there has “definitely” not been any contact with Liverpool, he added: “If he wants to do that, we have to deal with it.
“We don’t want to lose any player next year for free. I can say it that clearly.”
It has been widely suggested that the 29-year-old, who has been with Bundesliga champions Bayern since 2013 after joining from Barcelona, is Premier League bound.
Italian journalist Nicolo Schira has even suggested that a four-year contract has been agreed to take Thiago to Merseyside for around £7.2million a year (€8m).
If he moved to Anfield, Thiago would strengthen a Liverpool side that was crowned Premier League champions less than two weeks ago.
The ball-playing Spain international has racked up 231 appearances at Bayern, scoring 31 goals and producing 37 assists, while also playing 37 times for his country.
And with his contract at the Allianz Arena expiring in 2021, Thiago is set to be available for around £31m (€35m) this summer.
Yet Nicol fears that Thiago would not actually start for Liverpool, despite the Reds’ midfield often being picked out as their weakness.
Jurgen Klopp’s title winners already have Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner, Naby Keita and Gini Wijnaldum as central midfield options for next season.
And former Liverpool defender Nicol told ESPN FC: “Well yes I’d like to see him at Liverpool because that would mean he would just be strengthening the squad and strengthening the competition for places.
“If they do sign him, I don’t think he walks into the team. I don’t think he’s in the starting eleven.
“But yes, absolutely, the more quality you have and the more competition you have for places at the very least keeps everybody on their toes.”
And Nicol added: “The guy is a quality player, there’s no question about that.
“The guy is a quality player, there’s no question about that.
“But the truth is that would mean you’re changing your style a little bit. So I wonder whether if it’s a chance to sign a great player and keep the squad strong, because if there’s one thing Liverpool have it’s competition in the middle of the park.
“Yes, he’s a great player, but I’m not sure he makes the team better though.
“Do you really want to touch something that isn’t broken? Liverpool are very dynamic and Thiago is more of an old-school footballer.
“He’s a great player and you need a squad, but is he pushing the starting XI? I don’t think so.”
Klopp was asked about Thiago after his side’s Premier League win over Aston Villa on Sunday night but was typically coy in his response.
“Would you be surprised if I don’t give an answer to that? Just because, I never answer these kinds of questions,” Klopp said.
“Thiago Alcantara is a really good player. Like a lot of other players out there, I like a lot. But that’s all I have to say about that.”
Source: Published by express