Football

Thiago will add a new dimension to Liverpool's play: Jamie Carragher

Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara will offer Liverpool a much-needed new dimension to their play, said former Reds defender Jamie Carragher.

The English Premier League champions have reached a deal to sign the Spanish midfielder from the Champions League winners, said Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge yesterday.

British media reported the deal will cost Liverpool around £20 million (S$35.1m) with £5 million in add-ons.

The 29-year-old playmaker is expected to sign a four-year deal.

Carragher told Sky Sports: "Liverpool have got five or six midfield players - they rotate well because they need energy in that position - but a lot of the players are pretty similar.

"Thiago would be something different - less in energy but more technical - and I think he would be a really good addition.

"Liverpool are world class at the top end of the pitch, world class in terms of their defence and goalkeeper; I think they're top class in midfield.

"Something could be added technically and Thiago fits the bill, so fingers crossed he comes."

Thiago, who will leave Bayern a year before his deal is set to expire, received glowing praise from coach Hansi Flick.

"Thiago was an exceptional player for seven years for Bayern Munich," Flick told reporters.

"The way he played, he gave many options to the team, he was a surprising player because he solved problems in ways people did not expect.

"It was a joy working with him. He is an absolute professional and a great person. I congratulate (Liverpool coach Juergen) Klopp. He gets a top player and a sensational person."

Rummenigge had earlier confirmed the move, saying the two clubs had reached an agreement and the player was leaving Munich.

Having come through Barcelona's youth system and made over 100 appearances for the senior side, Thiago moved to Bayern in 2013 when the German club appointed Pep Guardiola, becoming a vital cog in central midfield.

His intimate knowledge of Guardiola, who is now managing Manchester City, could also hand Klopp an edge over his title rivals. - REUTERS

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