Jurgen Klopp comments on Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita explain Liverpool links

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Jurgen Klopp’s comments on Thiago Alcantara when comparing him to Naby Keita explain why Liverpool are being heavily linked with a transfer for the Spaniard.

The Reds boss is reportedly getting close to bringing the Bayern Munich midfielder to Anfield, with a four-year deal “agreed”.

Klopp already knows a lot about the 29-year-old, having faced him as Borussia Dortmund manager until 2015.

And the Liverpool manager’s re-emerged comments show he has always been a fan of the midfielder.

He said: “[Keita] is the best player in the league. I’d have preferred him this season!

“Last year together with Thiago Alcantara they were the best in the league.”

Thiago has been at the Allianz Stadium since 2013, joining from Barcelona for €25m.

He has gone to make nearly 250 appearances for the Bundesliga side, winning seven league titles and a Club World Cup.

But signs from Germany have suggested that, despite the 29-year-old’s club still pursuing a Champions League this season, he is interested in playing elsewhere next season.

It comes after Bayern boss Hansi Flick confirmed Thiago's desire to leave and suggested he should join a Premier League side.

Speaking to German publication SportBild, Flick said: "As a person and as a footballer, I can understand Thiago. He wants a new challenge, which in my opinion should be the Premier League."

And Bayern chief Karl-Heinz Rommennige also hinted at the Spanish midfielder’s desire to leave.

The CEO said last month: “We negotiated seriously with him and fulfilled all his wishes.

"But it seems that he wants to do something new towards the end of his career. We definitely didn't have any contact to Liverpool at all. If he wants to do that, we have to deal with it.

"We don't want to lose any player next year for free. I can say it that clearly."

Liverpool has also reportedly found a home for their latest recruit on Merseyside.

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