Liverpool should be favourites for the Champions League as the tournament kicks off once again for the new season – because of a meeting that took place over the summer in Germany.
That is the view of Italian sports journalist Fabrizio Romano, who outlined to the ECHO how close Thiago Alcantara came to signing a contract extension in Bavaria, rather than making the move to Liverpool.
Speaking on a special Champions League preview Blood Red podcast, Romano said: “It was one of the craziest transfers because in Germany, he was ready to sign a contract with Bayern Munich.
“There was a meeting with the president where he was going to sign and then he said ‘OK, give me 24 hours more – I want to think with my family’.
*Listen to the full Fabrizio Romano podcast from Blood Red by clicking HERE.
“We were expecting Thiago to sign with Bayern and he was absolutely ready to do it, but then he changed his mind. It was fantastic work by the Liverpool board and Jurgen Klopp, calling the player and trying to convince him to join Liverpool this summer.
“It was not easy – Bayern is one of the most organised boards in the world and it was really complicated to convince him to move on.
But Romano believes Thiago will still give Klopp’s side the edge when it comes to the latter stages of European competition.
He explained: “Liverpool has a fantastic team and they were just missing a top-quality midfielder.
“We are talking about one of the best in the world and signing this kind of player from Bayern Munich is perfect because you take a player from the best team in the world and have him as a starter.
“Also, the money, they did not spend much – he was a bargain. In a normal transfer window, with the normal conditions, you have to pay €90million to sign Thiago.
“It won’t be easy for Bayern [to win everything again] and Liverpool will be back to try to win the Champions League.”
Last season, Liverpool were knocked out at the last-16 stage by a resolute Atletico Madrid side.
But Romano believes if Liverpool were to come up against the Spanish outfit once more this time around, the Reds would stand a much better chance of progressing.
Romano concluded: “Having quality against teams like [Atletico] with the mentality of Diego Simeone [requires] a player like Thiago, to have something more.
“When you have Thiago, give him two seconds and he can open spaces so having him is perfect for Liverpool. He is totally different to Naby Keita, Gini Wijnaldum and Fabinho – he is on another planet, because he plays another way.”
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