The usual suspects have reiterated Liverpool have no plans to make a move for Thiago this summer, but all isn’t as it seems.
The reigning Premier League champions have been heavily linked with a move for Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago this summer.
A whole host of reliable European publications and journalists have confirmed Liverpool’s interest in the former Barcelona man.
The likes of Fabrizio Romano and Christian Falk have even suggested personal terms have already been agreed, although formal negotiations are yet to begin. Falk, in particular, has close ties with the Bavarian club and is well-placed to receive such information.
But while the foreign press have reported Liverpool’s concrete interest, the usual journalists and newspapers have downplayed talk of a potential deal.
The Echo have stated on numerous occasions that Thiago is not an “active target,” claiming they have been told that he is not under consideration on four different occasions.
But according to the Athletic’s Raphael Honigstein, it’s merely the Reds posturing and trying to be seen “doing everything thing by the book.”
The German added the two sides will only enter into formal negotiations after the Champions League final on 23 August.
Speaking on BT Sport, Honigstein said: “It’s not done. Negotiations can only start after the Champions League.
“Liverpool want to be seen to be doing everything by the book – and that’s why he haven’t seen any official confirmation or even any unofficial confirmation that they’re in for him.
“But it’s possible.”
The Reds’ wish to deny rumours of agreeing to personal terms with Thiago is understandable if you look back in recent history.
In the summer of 2017, Liverpool apologised to Southampton for illegally approaching Virgil van Dijk, with Jurgen Klopp’s side forced to withdraw their interest despite the Dutchman handing in a transfer request.
The Reds finally got their man for a club-record £75million fee six months later, but the entire ordeal left a lasting impression on those in charge at the club.
Liverpool certainly don’t want a repeat of that saga, and by denying rumours of reaching an agreement with Thiago’s representatives, they absolve themselves on any wrongdoing.
While negotiations between the two clubs haven’t yet formally started, the Reds are reportedly unwilling to match Bayern’s asking price of €30m.
But according to reliable Liverpool journalist Melissa Reddy, money isn’t a problem for the Reds, who “would love” to sign Thiago this summer.
Reddy is the first local journalist to confirm Klopp is “significantly interested” in the 29-year-old.
But she adds Liverpool are “well-stocked” in midfield and “would need to see players depart” before making a move.
“There is too much uncertainty at present for concrete declarations, but the basic line from Anfield is that Thiago is a player they would love to have under the right circumstances – and a factor in that is having space in the midfield for him without disrupting squad harmony,” she wrote in the Independent.