Thiago Alcantara’s move to Liverpool, deemed “unfounded” just weeks ago, now looks impending.
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And another long-rumored move, that of Ben Chilwell’s to Chelsea, could be hijacked by a top four rival.
Chilwell to Man City, Chilwell to Chelsea
Frank Lampard’s move to improve his left back corps by inserting a young Englishman is said to be closer to reality, but could Pep Guardiola swoop in for the Leicester City defender?
Manchester City’s left back problem is years old, with center midfielders Fabian Delph and Oleksandr Zinchenko getting plenty of minutes there under Pep Guardiola while Benjamin Mendy and Joao Cancelo struggled to win the job.
Several reports say that Guardiola is going after Chilwell (as well as Messi), and there are so few strong left backs in the world. That’s especially true in recent seasons of the Premier League outside of Lucas Digne and Andy Robertson.
For Chelsea, the move is only an upgrade in that it would allow Cesar Azpilicueta to focus on right and center back.
But is he the answer? Chilwell is still young at 23 but how much better would he be in a better team than Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester? Here’s a graphic from WhoScored.com’s Player Comparison tool:
Thiago to Liverpool
All that’s left to bring Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich to Liverpool is the fee, according to RMC reporter Mohamed Bouhafsi.
The Reds have agreed terms with Thiago, who has reportedly already found a house on Merseyside.
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The 37-times capped Spaniard went 90 minutes in Bayern’s UCL triumph over his former club Barcelona, and has won either La Liga (Barcelona) or the Bundesliga every year but one since the 2010-11 campaign.
Thiago would be a bit older than Liverpool’s usual buys but would present terrific experience, technique, and depth for a Reds midfield which will again contend for the Premier League and the Champions League in 2020-21.
But Bayern will certainly be looking to offset their summer shopping, which has started with Leroy Sane, by selling some older players. And Thiago is, right down to age, very close to like-for-like with Georginio Wijnaldum.
Hendrick to Newcastle
Once ticketed for AC Milan, longtime Burnley man Jeff Hendrick looks set to stay in the Premier League.
The hard-edged Irish central midfielder, 28, is a free agent after spending four seasons with Sean Dyche’s Clarets, collecting 10 goals and seven assists.
It’s a good depth move, if that’s what it is, though Newcastle’s past tends to hint that Hendrick could be viewed as a bigger piece.
The advanced stats at Burnley say that would not be wise, but he is capable of bangers and was the Clarets’ club record signing from Derby County in 2016