Thiago ‘twist’ as Liverpool close on ‘like a new signing’

Matt Stead

Liverpool will secure something ‘just like a new signing’ next month. Which is handy when they won’t make any and you report only on them.


No way, Jose
The Sun have quite the exclusive for us on Friday. It’s about that bloody All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur thing.

‘But Mourinho’s astonishing reaction to Kane’s injury shows just how important he is to Spurs and their manager.

‘They have always denied the claims they are a one-man team – but this suggests otherwise.’

Mourinho telling a member of his coaching staff that “we’re f**ked” because Harry Kane had been ruled out for three months is not ‘astonishing’, nor does it suggest anything but the fact he was constantly aware a documentary was being filmed and he knows what makes for compelling viewing.

That ‘one-man team’ beat Manchester City in the time he was sidelined; what does that ‘suggest’?

Show us Jurgen Klopp celebrating Virgil van Dijk’s next injury or acknowledge that a manager might never be happy to lose his best player, with that reaction only enhanced for dramatic effect when cameras are rolling.


F365 shithouse headline of the day
”We’re f**ked’ – Mourinho gives reaction to Spurs injury’

*Gave* reaction. In January. When it happened. Eight months ago.


Gini in a bottle
The Daily Mirror are enjoying this international break. One aspect of it in particular has titillated them: banal quotes emerging from incredibly brief post-match interviews or rough press conference transcriptions about their future at club level.

Their most-read story at Friday lunchtime is the following:

‘Liverpool midfielder Gini Wijnaldum responds to Barcelona transfer speculation’

Oh, brilliant. What is it he’s said?

“It’s a rumour, I have nothing to say about it.”

Christ. The Metro go with similar – ‘responds to Barcelona transfer link’ – but some have reported that as Wijnaldum ‘breaking his silence’ when it’s barely sodding dented it.


Spill the Thi
That’s not all. Liverpool midfield target and David Moyes rejectee Thiago Alcantara spoke with German outlet ZDF on Thursday evening and discussed this summer’s speculation.

“I only think about the game against Ukraine. Afterwards, we will see. Bayern is my home and I am happy to be there.”

The headline? ‘Thiago Alcantara confirms he’s “happy” at Bayern Munich in Liverpool transfer twist’

Player with a year left on his contract, no history whatsoever of becoming a nuisance to try and secure a move elsewhere and a list of potential suitors seemingly reluctant to match his valuation, referring to club of seven years as his “home” and declaring “happiness” at playing regularly for current European champions, is hardly an M. Night sodding Shyamalan special.


And you, and you, and you, you’re gonna love me
Now to the MailOnline‘s take:

”Bayern is my home and I am happy to be there’: Liverpool and Man United target Thiago Alcantara admits transfer saga could still end with him STAYING in Germany’

Mediawatch must be missing something because player staying – sorry, STAYING – at club he is contracted to and clearly not unhappy at does not really feel like an unexpected turn of events.


Answer machine
And then to the Liverpool Echo:

‘Thiago Alcantara makes major Bayern Munich admission and gives one-word answer to Liverpool transfer rumour’

Scroll down to the penultimate paragraph for…

‘He ended the conversation there, smiling at the interviewer and declaring: “Ciao!” as he refused to answer before leaving.’

It turns out that you can simultaneously ‘give one-word answer’ while ‘refusing’ to do so. What a player. No wonder Jurgen Klopp wants him.


Fan service
That website seems to have come to the belated realisation that Kostas Tsimikas might be the only addition to last season’s title-winning squad. That is the only explanation for this piece.

You see, the planned phased return of fans to Premier League games based on current government guidelines is a ‘major advantage over rivals’ for Liverpool. And there we all were assuming it would be to the benefit of every club.

Not so, as ‘there’s no doubt Liverpool are among teams who feed most off the emotion and backing of a support that can also intimidate opponents.’ Fans have ‘been sorely missed’ and their return ‘will make an enormous difference, both in terms of atmosphere and the psychological impact’.

But especially – only – for Liverpool players. Manchester City would rather their supporters never came back at all.

It would also make sense, due to travel restrictions and the like, that local supporters ‘should be given priority’ to return. That would only be ‘another edge’ for this wonderful football team and its incomparable fanbase. Unlucky, Pep.

This all builds to the final three paragraphs, and a glorious pièce de résistance:

‘If there was only cautious excitement at the start of a surreal new campaign, that Reds fans will soon be allowed back inside Anfield has significantly ramped up expectation.

‘The return of the fabled 12th man, albeit in diluted form, should be regarded as being just like a new signing.

‘Because, for Liverpool above most other clubs, it truly is.’

Thiago can do what he bloody wants because Liverpool might sign Dave, 39, and Mike, 55, both from Bootle and at a safe social distance by next month. If circumstances don’t change. And for some reason it will mean more than for every other club, who can bring fans back at exactly the same time.


‘F**king hell, mate’ of this and every other day until the end of time

Someone confiscate his bloody phone.


Recommended reading of the day
Bart Vliestra on Donny van de Beek.

Ian Herbert talks to Neville Southall.