Gary Neville believes a failure to sign Thiago Alcantara would represent a major mistake from Jurgen Klopp and a failure to rejuvenate Liverpool’s squad could have a dire impact on their chances of retaining the Premier League title.
The Spain international appears destined to leave Bayern Munich after seven trophy-laden years with the Bundesliga giants. The former Barcelona star has less than one-year remaining on his current contract and Liverpool, as well as Manchester United, have been mooted as potential destinations.
Klopp’s relentless winning machine cantered to their first ever Premier League title last season, sweeping all before them on the domestic front, but Neville insists that the German must reinforce his squad from a position of strength if Liverpool are to achieve back-to-back successes.
He told the Daily Telegraph: ‘It wouldn’t be ridiculous to suggest there will be a slight drop off, if they don’t somehow stimulate that squad by doing something, It is a huge emotional drain on the group of players for three years.
‘To ask them to go again and achieve that same standard would be a superhuman effort. Getting them to do the same without amendment to the squad to give them that lift again, that is where signing Thiago would give the big one for Liverpool – to send a message to the rest of the players that we’ve signed one of the best players in the world in that position.
‘He is world class and would give them a world-class presence in an area of the field where they don’t have a world-class presence.
‘They need that impetus to stay where they are. I could be wrong – they could deliver exactly what they did before but looking at history it doesn’t work like that usually.’
Liverpool lost out on the signing of Timo Werner earlier this summer after they refused to match RB Leipzig’s asking price an the Germany international striker subsequently moved to Chelsea.
Similarly, Klopp is reluctant to meet Bayern’s €30million valuation of Thiago, particularly given the intense competition that already exists for a starting spot in Liverpool’s midfield.
The former Borussia Dortmund coach would, however, jump at the chance to sign the 29-year-old should a space open up in his squad. And with Georginio Wijnaldum among new Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman’s top targets, Liverpool could yet move for Thiago before the transfer window closes.
Speaking about his future last week, meanwhile, Thiago hit out at the constant speculation surrounding his future, saying: ‘I have not said at any time that I am leaving. Every year you put me in a different team.
‘I am on the sidelines, my future is tomorrow’s game right now. I neither care nor am I interested in what I know I talked.’
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