Liverpool to sign Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich

September 18, 2020
In this  Saturday, November 30, 2019 file photo Bayern’s Thiago controls the ball during the German Bundesliga first division match between FC Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen 04 in Munich, Germany.
In this Saturday, November 30, 2019 file photo Bayern’s Thiago controls the ball during the German Bundesliga first division match between FC Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen 04 in Munich, Germany.

LIVERPOOL, England (AP):

Thiago Alcantara is joining Liverpool after ending his seven-year stint at European champion Bayern Munich.

Liverpool will reportedly pay 20 million pounds (US$26 million) up front with a potential additional five million pounds (US$6.5 million) later.

"That was Thiago's great wish," Bayern Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said on Thursday in a video interview with German newspaper Bild. "It was his great wish, quite simply, to do something new before the end of his career."

The Spain midfielder won seven consecutive Bundesliga titles with Bayern and the Champions League last month. His contract with the Munich club was due to expire at the end of the 2020-21 season.

The 29-year-old Thiago Alcantara is Liverpool's second signing of the transfer window. The club also brought in defender Kostas Tsimikas from Olympiakos last month.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said last week that Thiago Alcantara was a "really good player" when commenting on the club's reported interest in signing him.

"I can only congratulate Kloppo, he's got a top player and a sensationally good person," Bayern coach Hansi Flick said.

VERY EMOTIONAL

Flick added that he tried and failed to persuade Thiago Alcantara to stay, and "it was very emotional today when he said goodbye".

Bayern may not sign any replacement.

Rummenigge said Bayern would primarily use the money from the sale to cope with the "great financial challenge" posed by the coronavirus pandemic. That includes a lack of match-day revenue after the mayor of Munich barred fans from Bayern's opening Bundesliga game on Friday.

However, Flick said he was in talks with club management about bringing in new signings before the transfer window closes on October 5.

"We have lost another quality player," Flick said yesterday.

Besides Thiago Alcantara, Bayern has also parted with the on-loan trio of Philippe Coutinho, Ivan Perisic and Alvaro Odriozola. Of four signings, only Leroy Sane appears likely to play a large proportion of games.

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