Thiago Alcantara

Thiago Alcantara to Liverpool
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Transfer news: Thiago to Liverpool; Gabriel to Man United

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In transfer news there’s an update on Thiago Alcantara to Liverpool, while Gabriel to Manchester United seems to be moving to the next stage.

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Starting in Liverpool, talk of Thiago Alcantara to Liverpool has been gathering steam over the last few weeks and a new report states that Jurgen Klopp’s men are now the favorites to sign him.

Bayern Munich expect the 29-year-old Spanish international to leave this summer and according to Mundo Deportivo Liverpool have jumped ahead of Paris Saint-Germain and are ‘very likely’ to sign the former Barcelona star.

Bayern want $35 million for Thiago who has one year left on his current contract.

The deep-lying playmaker is a totally different central midfielder to what Liverpool currently have as Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, James Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum are all hard-working more defensive minded players. And then there’s Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who provide a bit more attacking intent with forward runs from central midfield.

Thiago Alcantara would help Liverpool control games better when opponents sit back and don’t allow them space to operate in-behind. He is a silky pass-master who is wanted by PSG, Liverpool, Manchester United and others, but it appears he will be heading to Anfield to give Liverpool a totally new dimension to their play. If this happens, it will make an already strong Liverpool side stronger.

Gabriel to Manchester United
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Switching to Manchester, a report in France states that Gabriel Magalhaes could be heading to Manchester United.

The Brazilian defender, 22, has been a star for Lille over the past few seasons but has been linked with Arsenal, Chelsea, Napoli, Everton and Man United consistently in recent months.

A report from French outlet RMC states that Man United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has met with Gabriel’s agents about his availability.

Lille want $35 million for Gabriel and although the report says that Man United haven’t made an offer directly to the Ligue 1 club, it is believed talks are ongoing.

Man United are said to be in the market for a winger, center back and central midfielder this summer and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is likely to be given cash to spend after securing Champions League qualification for next season.

It is believed Solskjaer wants a left-footed center back, which Gabriel is, as Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire are often too similar at center back. Those two have developed a decent enough partnership but it appears that Solskjaer wants to replace Lindelof and adding Gabriel will also give him an option to switch to a 3-4-3 system which he likes to do to match up against  more attack-minded opponents.

Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly and Phil Jones are very much on the outside looking in at Man United in terms of their other center back options.

With Jadon Sancho reportedly on his way to Old Trafford, Solskjaer needs to bolster his center back and holding midfield options and then he is good to go for next season.

Gabriel is a young, talented center back and seems ready to make the next step and this is a good price for a player who can develop over the next few seasons.

Transfer news: Jimenez, Sancho inch closer to Man Utd moves

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A roundup of all of Friday’s biggest transfer rumors, most notably those involving Premier League clubs.

[ MORE: Thursday’s transfer rumors | Wednesday | Tuesday ]

Wolverhampton Wanderers’ star forward Raul Jimenez is reportedly “on his way” to Manchester United with Wolves having agreed a fee for 27-year-old Paulinho from Sporting Braga. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer previously revealed that a center forward was high atop his wishlist this summer, and it seems as though that wish will be fulfilled by Jimenez’s 43 goals in two PL seasons. The reported fee? A bargain price of $35 million.

Speaking of Man United and big-money moves for world-class attacking talent, the Red Devils appear incapable of escaping the rumors linking them with Jadon Sancho’s imminent arrival to Old Trafford. According to the Independent, Borussia Dortmund are willing to accept an initial fee of $79 million, so long as add-ons would see it rise to $130 million.

Everyone — seemingly including Frank Lampard — knows that Chelsea have a serious issue in goal following Kepa Arrizabalaga’s horrid end to the 2019-20 season. So bad is said issue that the Blues have reportedly made an official offer to Barcelona in hopes of bringing Marc-Andre ter Stegen to Stamford Bridge.

[ MORE: How will Chelsea and Arsenal line up in FA Cup final? ]

Gareth Bale has been “leaving” Real Madrid since Zinedine Zidane’s first stint as manager in the Spanish capital, yet there he remained and expects to remain for another season. Bale has reportedly told Welsh national team boss Ryan Giggs that he will stay at the Santiago Bernabeu ahead of next summer’s European Championship.

One player that could leave his current situation behind this summer is Thiago Alcantara, who has reportedly told Bayern Munich he wants to leave. The 29-year-old has been linked with a move to Liverpool in recent months, but the PL champions are unlikely to be the Barcelona academy product’s only suitors.

Klopp update on Thiago; praises Keita, cooling breaks

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Jurgen Klopp has provided an update on the reported pursuit of Thiago Alcantara following Liverpool’s 2-0 win against Aston Villa at Anfield on Sunday.

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Klopp was pleased his Premier League champion ground out a win to keep their record-breaking season on track and speaking to reporters via Zoom after the game he said it was tough going inside a windy Anfield as he rotated his squad.

Asked about consistent reports linking them with Bayern Munich and Spain midfielder Thiago, here’s what Klopp had to say.

“Would you be surprised if I don’t give an answer on that because I never answer these kind of questions. 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,” Klopp said.

Okay, so pretty not committal from Klopp there.

When it comes to his central midfield options, he left out Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum and started Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and there was a step up in intensity when Henderson and Wijnaldum came on for the final 30 minutes.

Keita did provide the assists for Sadio Mane’s goal and Klopp is hopeful the Guinea midfielder can stay fit and be a big player for the rest of this season and beyond.

“Naby is a top player. A top player. It was a difficult game today and he was really good,” Klopp told ProSoccerTalk. “He helped us a lot. Not only with the goal. You could always play the pass to him, he always offers, he was in smart positions. I liked his game a lot today. It is a good example of how good he can be and this was by far not his best game but it was good. I am just happy when a player is in a shape like this and can perform like this because we play in three days again which is tough, and in three days later we play again. It is tough for everyone. You need to find solutions for the different moments and today Naby was a super solution.”

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

ProSoccerTalk also took the time to ask Klopp about timeouts, and if he is a fan of the new cooling breaks which take place midway through each half due to the Premier League being played in the summer months.

Safe to say Klopp is a fan of getting to talk to his players a little more during games.

“It is like a timeout and I’ve wished for it for 20 years, pretty much, but nobody listened, obviously,” Klopp laughed. “Now we have a drinks break and I like it a lot. If people think you only need a drinks break when it is like 40 degrees outside, then of course England it is not a country where you need a drinks break very often. Especially in the north west and north east. It is important to just have that because it was a strange period for the players and we didn’t know exactly how the boys would react, nobody could know that. I really like the opportunity to talk. In the moment the refs whistle it starts and the players, it takes about 30 seconds and the players are around. You don’t have a lot of time to talk to the players as they really go there for a drink but you can give information, we all have the same chance in the same moments, all of the different coaches, so that is good and fair. I like it.”

‘On his way’ or ‘unfounded?’ Thiago to Liverpool reports duel

Thiago Alcantara to Liverpool
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Thiago Alcantara is telling teammates he’s on his way to Liverpool.

The Bayern Munich man, 29, is confident of sealing a move to the Premier League champions, according to The Express. His contract runs through this summer.

Hansi Flick wants the center midfielder to stay at the Allianz Arena but contract talks between Bayern and Thiago had broken down and reports Friday linked him with Liverpool. He’d be expected to cost better than $40 million.

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There are stronger words this morning, with Bayern said to have “lost all hope” of keeping Thiago.

Yet the Liverpool Echo, an outlet with cozy connections to the Anfield set, says there’s nothing brewing and called the reports “unfounded.”

The 37-times capped Spaniard is set to start Saturday’s German Cup Final versus Bayer Leverkusen, 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.

Transfer news: Thiago to Liverpool; Bailey to Manchester United

Thiago to Liverpool
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In the latest transfer news there is an update on Thiago Alcantara heading to Liverpool, while Leon Bailey is linked with a move to Manchester United, among others.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule ]

First up, let’s start with Liverpool as Jurgen Klopp’s side are said to be chasing Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich and talks over a new contract have broken down between the silky deep-lying playmaker and the Bavarian giants.

There were reports last week that Liverpool are keen to buy the central midfielder this summer as he has just one year left on his current contract. The latest update is from Spain and it states that Thiago has told Bayern he wants to move to Liverpool and his manager at Bayern Munich, Hansi Flick, has simply replied “I hope he does not leave” when speaking before the German Cup final this weekend.

It is believed he would cost around $45 million and the sudden change in contract stance from the composed central midfielder has come as a surprise to Bayern. Thiago, 29, has only played in a couple of games since the restart due to injury but has worked his way back to fitness for the German Cup final and the resumption of the Champions League in August.

Do Liverpool need him? They could certainly do with a bit more composure in central midfield but they do have Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and James Milner as options already. Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Keita have battled injuries, while Fabinho’s form would mean spending this much on Thiago wouldn’t make a lot of sense.

This signing would also go against the model of Klopp generally buying younger players but he did spend big on Virgil van Dijk and Alisson who weren’t that young. If a player of Thiago’s quality becomes available, you have to take a look at the deal. Adding a central midfielder isn’t a priority for Liverpool but he would certainly add something slightly different. It seems like this deal is becoming a possibility as Liverpool continue to try and move forward instead of standing still.

Leon Bailey to Manchester United
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Switching from Liverpool to Manchester, and Leon Bailey has been linked with a move to Manchester United as a host of Premier League clubs will be scouting him in the German Cup final this weekend.

The Jamaica and Bayer Leverkusen winger, 22, is said to be a little unhappy with his bit-part role for Leverkusen this season as they finished fifth in the Bundesliga and were pipped to the final Champions League spot on the final day by Borussia Monchengladbach.

Liverpool, Everton and Man City are also said to be watching Bailey closely this weekend, as our partners at Sky Sports in the UK have the details.

“Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey is keen on a move to the Premier League this summer and could be available for a fee of between £20m and £30m. The 22-year old has three years left on his current deal at Leverkusen but wants to play in England and is working with Raheem Sterling’s agents, Colossal Sports Management, to boost his chances of a deal. Leverkusen were expected to demand up to £60m for Bailey this summer, but due to the effect on market prices caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, he could be available for less than half of that amount.”

So, there you have it.

Bailey has been a rising star in Europe for some time and he joined Bayer from Genk in 2017 and almost joined Bayern Munich in 2018 for $68.5 million. His form has dipped a little but his goalscoring ability from out wide is still very good and he can play on either wing or centrally.

The Man City detail is very interesting because they do need to replace Leroy Sane, even though they have a host of other star attacking talents. Man United may see this as a good time to do a deal as they have cash in the bank but seem unlikely to splash over $100 million on either Jadon Sancho or Ferran Torres.

Given the form of Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial in recent weeks, Man United don’t need to add another winger but adding Bailey for $25 million would be a bargain.