Thiago: Barcelona legend Xavi called him ‘extraordinary’, Jurgen Klopp thinks he’s great, and a Man United leg

Thiago: Barcelona legend Xavi called him ‘extraordinary’, Jurgen Klopp thinks he’s great, and a Man United leg thumbnail

Thiago Alcantara continues to be heavily linked with a move to Liverpool, although any interested suitors would need to stump up a reported £27million to secure the Bayern Munich midfielder’s signature. The 29-year-old, a product of Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy, has proven himself to be a serial winner in Germany. Getty Images Alcantara is still one of the most formidable midfielders in world football Alcantara has won seven successive Bundesliga titles and four German Cups with the Bundesliga side since joining the club from Barcelona in 2013, but now wants to leave in order to take on a new challenge. The Spain midfielder will get another chance to impress potential suitors on Wednesday night when Bayern take on Lyon in the Champions League semi-finals – which is LIVE on talkSPORT. One thing that is for certain is Alcantara is a hugely respected name in the game, as demonstrated below… Thiago has ‘already said goodbye to his Bayern teammates’ as midfielder eyes Liverpool move, talkSPORT told Pep Guardiola Guardiola famously demanded ‘Thiago or nothing’ when he first arrived at Bayern Munich in the summer of 2013; requesting the Bundesliga giants sign the midfielder from his former club Barcelona. When recently quizzed whether the midfielder could still do a job in England’s top flight, Guardiola responded: “No doubt about it. “A player who plays for Barcelona and Bayern Munich can play in the Premier League. “Of course he can play. He’s an exceptional player, but I don’t know what he’s going to do.” Getty Images There is no doubt in Guardiola’s mind that Alcantara could play in the Premier League Xavi The Barcelona legend never wanted Thiago to leave the Nou Camp back in the summer of 2013, but after failing to establish himself as a first-team regular the Spain international moved to Bavaria. “I’d advise Thiago to stay patient because he’s a player who is bound to be a success at Barca,” the midfielder turned manager explained. “I think he is an extraordinary player. Thiago is not just a player for the future, but he is someone who can make an impact right now as well.” Getty Images Xavi wanted Thiago to stay at Barcelona Niko Kovac The ex-Bayern Munich boss managed Thiago at the Allianz Arena and said he was a ‘coach’s dream’. “Thiago? what can I say? Top,” the Croatian said. “He is our midfield player, a player who can do anything with the ball. There is nothing he can not do. He can speed up or slow down the rhythm of the game. “He thinks like a coach on the pitch, that’s what every coach wants. I am glad that I am allowed to work with such a class man as well as a class football player.” Getty Images – Getty Thiago’s main strengths are his ability to beat players, his passing and his tackling Hansi Flick The current Bayern manager does not want to lose one of his star mean this summer, who he says gives his side something ‘extra’. “I can understand when a player thinks about a move,” he admitted. “Thiago has played for Barcelona in Spain and for Bayern Munich in Germany. If he wants to play in the Premier League now, I totally understand. “But it would be a pity, because Thiago gives us that certain extra. That’s what I’d like to keep him for the next few years as a coach, but that’s life. It goes on.” How Liverpool could look with Thiago as Bayern Munich star ‘agrees deal’ – why Henderson or Wijnaldum could make way Manuel Neuer The current Bayern no.1 says Thiago remains a vital cog of Bayern Munich’s midfielder and hopes he stays at the club for the foreseeable future. “I hope that it won’t be one of the last matches of Thiago,” Neuer remarked ahead of their Champions League match with Chelsea. “He had to undergo surgery at the end of the season but now he’s back and 100 per cent. “He’s a very valuable player for us, especially in ball possession. He’s very important for us. He’s our engine in midfield actually.” Getty Images Neuer is under no illusions how pivotal the Spaniard is to Bayern’s team Rio Ferdinand The Manchester United icon is a huge fan of Thiago’s talents, and led the praise for Bayern’s ‘conductor’ on BT Sport after helping them to a 7-1 win aggregate win over Chelsea in the Champions League Round of 16. “He is a conductor, somebody who controls the tempo of the game, he’s got a wing mirror so he can see behind him, can see all angles, play every pass in the game,” Ferdinand said. “Intelligent player, he speaks the language which is an important part of it as well. “He’d be a dream to have for someone like Liverpool. He’s the type of player they probably haven’t got.” Getty Images – Getty Thiago was brought to Bayern Munich by Guardiola Jurgen Klopp Speculation has been rife about Thiago’s future, with Liverpool boss Klopp expressing his admiration for the midfielder once more last month. “Thiago Alcantara is a great player, but also a Bayern Munich player,” the German stated. “That’s actually all there is to say. There’s nothing to say! I have no idea who will play for me next year, there is nothing to say at the moment.” Getty Images Klopp is a huge fan of Thiago, but will Liverpool fork out £27m to secure the midfielder’s signature? Karl-Heinz Rummenigge Bayern have battled hard to keep Thiago at the club, offering him a new and improved deal, but according to chairman Rummenigge he is likely to move on this summer. “He’s a decent guy, on and off the pitch. We negotiated seriously with him [about a new contract] and fulfilled all his wishes,” he recently said. “But it seems that he wants to do something new towards the end of his career. We don’t want to lose any player next year for free.”,
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