Thiago Alcantara will be unveiled on Friday, after Liverpool agreed a £20m deal for the Champions League winner.
The midfielder said goodbye to his Bayern Munich team-mates in an emotional departure at the club’s training ground on Thursday morning, with their boss Hansi Flick congratulating the Reds on signing “an extraordinary” player.
Despite the Munich announcement, with Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge explaining that the player had “a great wish to do something new before the end of his career”, Reds officials refused to confirm his arrival in England.
But it is understood the Spain international was due to arrive on Merseyside late on Thursday evening, to complete the second part of a medical assessment, and finalise contract terms on a four year deal.
Flick said Liverpool have pulled off a coup for a player who has made a massive contribution to Bayern’s success.
“I can only congratulate Liverpool as ‘Kloppo’ is getting a great player and especially a great person," he said.
Crucially, the English club – after months of stand off where they refused to meet Bayern’s €30m asking price for a 29-year-old who is in the final year of his contract – negotiated a structured agreement and a lower guaranteed fee.
They will pay £20m, with a further £5m depending on bonuses related to success in the Champions League and Premier League, but only if Thiago plays a significant role.
There will also be further payments depending on individual awards, such the Ballon d’Or or Premier League Player of the Year.
And more importantly for Liverpool’s ownership – who have urged transfer market caution in the uncertain financial landscape of a football economy blighted by the Coronavirus crisis – they will pay in instalments over the course of the four year deal.
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Liverpool got their title defence off to a shaky start as they edged out a seven-goal thriller against Leeds.
In terms of transfers. The Reds have agreed a deal for Bayern Munich's Thiago Alcantara, but Georginio Wijnaldum continues to be linked with Barcelona. There's a lot to keep track of.
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That means an initial outlay this year thought to be around just £5m, with the rest paid in yearly increments depending on the bonus targets.
Thiago has already agreed in principle his four year contract, which will see him slip in behind Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah as one of the highest paid players at Anfield.
Liverpool expect him to complete the final stages of the medical process on Friday with their own doctors, and could then unveil him before the weekend.
That would rule him out of being part of Jurgen Klopp’s squad to face Chelsea on Sunday, but intriguingly, he could be given the chance to get some match fitness in the EFL Cup visit to lowly Lincoln next Thursday.
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