Barcelona reportedly failed with a last-minute attempt to sign Thiago Alcantara this summer – because Jurgen Klopp had already convinced the playmaker to sign for Liverpool.
The Reds landed No.1 transfer target Thiago last month after many months pursuing the former Bayern Munich man.
The Spain star moved to Anfield on a four-year deal and provided his new teammates with a glimpse of what they can expect from him with an impressive debut performance against Chelsea.
He was then denied further game time before the international break after testing positive for coronavirus, making him unavailable for the double-header against Arsenal, as well as the shock defeat at Aston Villa.
But Thiago could have been playing for a different team altogether had Barcelona got their wish.
According to Fabrizio Romano, Barcelona made an ambitious last-gasp swoop to sign the player who they sold to Bayern Munich in 2013.
But it is claimed by the Italian journalist, who was writing in the Guardian, that the Spain international had already made up his mind after several video calls with Klopp.
The Spaniard was apparently “convinced and enthralled” by Klopp’s proposal, and ultimately decided the reigning Premier League champions were the perfect team for him.
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Thiago himself was uncertain over his future before making the switch to Anfield and, at one stage, was expected to sign a contract extension with Bayern.
However upon arriving at the club’s offices to commit to a new deal, the Spaniard performed a U-turn and is claimed to have said: “I want to think about it, I need to talk about it with my family, I’ll update you all tomorrow.”
Twenty fours later and he had agreed to sign for Klopp’s Liverpool side, despite Barcelona’s best efforts to secure his services.
The 29-year-old was long tipped for a move to the Premier League champions before it finally materialised.
Following a hugely successful spell in Germany the Spanish international expressed a desire to seek a new challenge.
Since Thiago’s debut Liverpool have seen off Arsenal at Anfield before a shocking 7-2 defeat at the hands of Aston Villa last time out.
Klopp’s side will return to action with a Merseyside derby against unbeaten Everton at Goodison Park.