Liverpool are closing in on the signing of Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara. Reports claim that after extensive talks between the two clubs, a fee has now been agreed, with a move now firmly on the cards.
Jurgen Klopp is a big admirer of the Spain international, who has spent the last seven years with the Bundesliga champions.
Thiago himself has also been keen to leave Bayern after winning the Champions League at the end of 2019/20 campaign.
Liverpool have played hard ball in the negoatiations with Bayern, refusing to pay over the odds for a player that will turn 30 in April.
The German giants have offered Thiago a new deal in recent months, but the midfielder has his eyes firmly set on a new challenge.
And it is claimed that talks have accelerated in the last 24 hours and are now at a point where the Reds are confident of confirming the signing.
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Should the 29-year-old finalise his much talked about move to Anfield, it will provide Klopp with even more options within his title winning squad. And Express Sport has had a look at how the Reds could line up, if they complete the signing.
Line up 1: Midfield rotation
Thiago’s imminent arrival is unlikely to make Jurgen Klopp switch from his preferred 4-3-3 formation that has brought him so much success throughout his managerial career.
With that in mind, it is likely that the German will be forced to use a combination of midfield players to compliment the Spaniard’s arrival.
Last term, Jordan Henderson, Georgino Wijnaldum and Fabinho played the most matches for Klopp, with Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also utilised.
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After Liverpool’s long pursuit for Thiago, it seems likely that he will be given a starting berth at the heart of Liverpool’s midfield. Meaning one of the usual starters could be forced to move to the bench.
Keita, despite being used sparingly last term, was given the start on Saturday against Leeds – suggesting he could be given a more prominent role this time around.
Wijnaldum meanwhile has one-year left on his Liverpool deal and while a move to Barcelona now looks unlikely, Klopp may prioritise players that have long term future on Merseyside.
Henderson recovered from injury to play in the opening day win and the skipper still looks set to be an integral part of the line up.
(4-3-3) Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Thiago, Keita; Salah Firmino, Mane.
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Line up 2: Fabinho to centre-back
A second option for Klopp could be using Thiago in midfield, whilst keeping Fabinho in the line up by moving him into defence.
The Brazillian has experience playing both on the right and in the centre of defence and could slot in alongside Virgil van Dijk on occasions.
Joe Gomez would of course remain the first-choice option at the back with van Dijk, but could come out in certain games where Liverpool are set to dominate possession.
It’s a role the likes of Javier Mascherano at Barcelona and Javi Martinez at Bayern have perfected, with Fabinho himself playing there against Brighton and Bayern in recent seasons.
(4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, van Dijk, Robertson; Thiago, Keita, Henderson; Salah; Firmino, Mane.
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