Bayern Munich star Thiago Alcantara has stalled on signing a contract extension with the German champions, as he weighs up his options ahead of the summer - with Liverpool, supposedly, on his mind.
The Spain international midfielder joined Bayern under Pep Guardiola for a fee of €25m in 2013, and has gone on to become one of the league's best players - winning seven Bundesliga titles.
However, with his contract set to expire next summer, the Bavarian giants had been keen to tie their talisman - whose current contract expires in 2021 - down to a longer deal.
Sport Bild report that despite the player and club coming close to an agreement, the 29-year-old 'hesitated' when it actually came to putting pen to paper. Thiago told the hierarchy 'he couldn't explain' his reluctance, and Bayern officials now fear that he is ready to leave the Allianz Arena.
With Thiago approaching his thirties, it is likely to be his final opportunity to land a big move abroad, should he dream of gracing the Premier League in the course of his career.
And that's where Liverpool come in...
Bild reporter Christian Falk revealed that there are rumours within the team that the player 'wants to join Liverpool'. Falk also supposedly told fan site Empire of the Kop that Jurgen Klopp is a big admirer of the deep-lying playmaker, only adding more fuel to the fire surrounding his future.
As for Liverpool's need for a new midfielder, doubts also linger over the long-term future of Naby Keita at Anfield, while Adam Lallana will leave at the end of this season. In addition, vice-captain James Milner turned 34 this year and Gini Wijnaldum is yet to agree a contract extension beyond 2021.
But even if Liverpool are interested in signing the former Barçelona playmaker, question marks remain over whether a deal could come to fruition.
The Reds famously pulled out of a deal to sign long-term target Timo Werner, who will complete a £50m move to Chelsea this summer instead, with the economic impact of the pandemic cited as the reason for Liverpool's reluctance to spend big.
At 29, Thiago is also older than the majority of Liverpool under FSG signings and would represent a break from strategy.
Interestingly Sport Bild's report notes that the player 'feels good in Munich' and is happy with his teammates and head coach Hansi Flick, raising the question of whether this is all just a ploy for better contract terms at Bayern.
Source : 90min