by Sam Patterson (@sam0007ster)
A very strange transfer saga
Will he or won’t he? Will they or won’t they? Interest or no interest? Some say it makes sense. Some say it doesn’t make sense. The conflicting reports on Liverpool’s pursuit of Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara (or lack of), are, well, confusing. Very confusing.
A rampant Bayern side, including an influential Thiago at its core, dismantled Barcelona 8-2 last night. It was a Helta Skelta game of goals, and – forget Barca for a minute – Bayern were brilliant. And Thiago, 29, looked a cut above every member of Barca’s midfield; the gulf in class was exponential.
So with Thiago itching for a move away – and with his price tag a mere £25-30million (insubstantial in footballing terms) – why wouldn’t Liverpool’s recruitment team be all over this one? Well, the picture is hazy.
In one corner you have the English media – the likes of Sky Sport’s Kaveh Solhekol and the reporters at the Liverpool Echo – who assert that the Anfield club have not contacted the German giants, and have no plans to do so.
They draw inference from the idea Bayern chiefs are simply trying to ‘drum up a bidding war’ for a player whose future clearly lies elsewhere.
In the other corner, there are the journalists close to the German champions – @cfbayern and BILD’s Tobi Altschäffl – who believe Liverpool HAVE opened negotiations for Thiago, as of Thursday this week.
The surge of journalists suggesting Liverpool had ignited their interest followed reports that Manchester City were gearing up to make a move for the Spaniard.
Remember this: Bayern still have a Champions League semi-final (and potentially a final) to play. If this story has got legs, then expect movement at the end of this month and into September.
Sarr priced at £40million
Ismaila Sarr is still being linked with a move to Anfield. In fact, he’s even quoted in a Senegalese paper this week as saying: “Everyone would love to play there (Liverpool)”.
The tricky winger scored five goals in his debut Premier League campaign, and, as per the Evening Standard’s David Lynch, Watford – now of the Championship – will demand £40million for the 22-year-old.
The valuation is high. But he fits the bill. Liverpool are in desperate need of more depth behind the first-choice front three, and Sarr – a raw yet pacey talent – of a similar mould to Sadio Mane – could be (and perhaps should be) high on Klopp’s wishlist.
- No interest in Talles Magno. Dubbed ‘the new Neymar’, Magno plays for Brazillian side Vasco da Gama. He’s valued at around £30million, but Lynch has made it clear that the Reds are not planning on making a move for the Brazillian.
- Liverpool are aiming to sign Greek U17 and Panathinaikos striker Marios Tzavidas. [@NikosTzouannis]
- Could Divock Origi’s Liverpool career be coming to an end? Lazio are said to be interested. The Italians are in the market for a striker to replace the outgoing Felipe Caicedo. [@CorSport]
- There is NO suggestion that Gini Wijnaldum will be on the move this summer. @SkySports‘ sources suggest the Dutchman’s reps are waiting for the club to open talks over a new long-term deal.
- And we finish with one bit of confirmed transfer news – Liverpool’s first signing of the summer Kostas Tsimikas. Bought to provide Andy Robbo with greater competition at left-back, Tsimikas signed on Monday for a fee in the region of £13million. The Reds beat the likes of Nice and Napoli in the race for the Greek’s signature.