Bayern Munich playmaker Thiago Alcantara skilfully evaded speculation over a move away from Germany this summer, telling reporters he is 'happy' in Bavaria despite extensive interest in his transfer.
Thiago has been linked with a move to Liverpool this summer, with recent reports suggesting that Georginio Wijnaldum could be sold to Barcelona in order to facilitate a transfer. PSG were also fleetingly linked, while Manchester United are claimed to be keen to hijack a deal - though their acquisition of Donny van de Beek makes that highly unlikely.
One seemingly universal truth in the vast and varied ocean of reports is that he wants to leave Bayern in search of a new project. But while even manager Hansi Flick and chairman Karl-Heinz Rumenigge have admitted this, it seems Thiago is sticking with the PR line until the very, very end.
He's currently on Nations League duty with Spain, who face Ukraine on Sunday, having kicked off their campaign with a draw with Germany. And tediously asked for comment following the Germany clash, he said: "I only think about the game against Ukraine. Afterwards, we will see.
"Bayern is my home and I am happy to be there."
This has naturally been spun into more than it is by the usual outlets. While his words, at face value, seem to suggest he is open to staying at Bayern, it's likely he is just taking advice and keeping quiet so as not to attract unwanted attention.
As things stand, Liverpool still look like his most likely destination, with Bayern still 'convinced' an offer will arrive from Anfield for the 29-year-old. He would represent a break from strategy for the Reds, whose policy of signing young, injury-free players and growing their profile has returned them to the top of English and European football, but the sheer weight of reporting means the story is getting more and more difficult to dismiss.
There is yet to be any real noise coming from Liverpool suggesting a deal is imminent, but the club are one of the best around at keeping leaks to a minimum. Wait and see is the order of the day.
Source : 90min