Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp labelled Thiago Alcantara a "really good player", but was unwilling to say too much about the Bayern Munich midfielder.

Thiago, 29, is out of contract at the Bundesliga club next year and has been linked with a move to Anfield.

Asked about the former Barcelona midfielder amid the transfer talk, Klopp only praised Thiago's quality.

"Would you be surprised if I don't give an answer on that? Just because I never answer these kinds of questions," he told a news conference after Liverpool's 2-0 win over Aston Villa on Sunday.

"Thiago Alcantara is a really good player. I like a lot of other players out there, but that's all I have to say about that."

Liverpool returned to winning ways thanks to second-half goals from Sadio Mane and Curtis Jones as the champions moved closer to the 100-point mark.

Naby Keita set up Mane's opener and Klopp praised the midfielder, who has struggled to impress since arriving from RB Leipzig in 2018.

"Naby is a top player and it was a difficult game and he was really good. He helped us a lot, not only with the goal. He always made offers. It was not his best game but it was good," he said.

"We play in three days again which is tough, then three days again. It's a tough period, but you need to find solutions for the different moments and Naby was the solution."

Liverpool are away to Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday.

Dean Smith took scant consolation from pushing Premier League champions Liverpool close after Aston Villa fell to a 2-0 defeat, insisting he had no love for the "valiant loser" tag.

The Villa boss set his side up to defend at Anfield and the visitors did frustrate the home side until Sadio Mane's 71st-minute opener.

Curtis Jones doubled the Reds' lead late on as Villa's winless run in the league was extended to nine games on Sunday.

Smith noted that his side had more shots than Jurgen Klopp's men, who lost their previous game 4-0 to Manchester City, but still the overwhelming feeling was one of disappointment.

"I don't want to be a valiant loser, we're scrapping for points," Smith told Sky Sports.

"To out-shoot Liverpool at home at Anfield, in terms of efforts on goal, it's excellent – but we need to take our opportunities. We never found the quality in the final third, they did.

"Was it the best time to come to Anfield? Jurgen Klopp teams don't take their foot off the gas, I don't thank him for bringing the three subs on, that strengthened them but we were in the game the whole way through.

"Unfortunately they beat our press with their quality in the end."

Next up for Villa is Thursday's visit of a buoyant Manchester United, who put five past Bournemouth on Saturday.

With his side still occupying the relegation zone, Smith knows the route to safety will be a difficult one.

"It's a tough task but we're still in it that's for sure," he said. "Our performances since the restart haven't got the results they deserved. We have got to make the most of our chances.

"We need to keep the belief in the dressing room, it's some achievement to come here and play as we did but we have to maintain the belief. I thought we more than matched them."

Jurgen Klopp highlighted Liverpool's 2-0 win over Aston Villa as a prime example of why his side are Premier League champions. 

The Reds, playing their first game at Anfield since ending a 30-year title drought, were made to work hard by their relegation-threatened visitors. 

Late goals from Sadio Mane and Curtis Jones got the job done as Klopp's side continued their 100 per cent home record in the league in the 2019-20 campaign. 

And the German, who was left angered by Thursday's 4-0 loss to Manchester City, felt it showed just why his side have reigned supreme this season. 

"A very difficult game for different reasons," Klopp told Sky Sports. 

"Villa are obviously organised and made it tricky for us. The wind made it tricky for both, but it was really hard to play normal football. 

"We had to stay on track and do the right things and in the second half we had more of the good moments. You could see we needed time to get used to it." 

The result took Liverpool to 89 points, within 11 of City's record tally, but Klopp insists that was not on his mind on Sunday. 

"The only thing I can say is there's no chance to win records if you constantly think about records," he said. 

"We don't want a record we want the three points. We don't think about these things, three points is difficult enough. 

"Aston Villa was fighting with all they had and it makes life uncomfortable. I like it, it was not a brilliant performance but it was a good performance that gets us three points." 

Mane echoed his manager's sentiments after scoring his 50th goal at Anfield for Liverpool. 

"We pushed as a team until the end and created some chances. It wasn't an easy game but at least we deserved these three points," he told Sky Sports. 

"I think sometimes you can't expect always to score four or five against a good opponent. They were really organised and we were playing patiently until the gaps opened and we scored the two goals. 

"For us right now it is most important to win games, then you can think about records. 

"We have important games and we will try to play game by game. It won't be easy but that is the Premier League – it is always difficult." 

Liverpool won their first game at Anfield as Premier League champions as a 2-0 victory piled the misery on relegation-threatened Aston Villa.

Having been angered by the Reds' 4-0 loss to Manchester City on Thursday, Jurgen Klopp saw his side triumph on Sunday even if the performance still left much to be desired.

Sadio Mane's 71st-minute goal broke the visitors' stubborn resolve before Curtis Jones added late gloss as Dean Smith's men, winless in nine in the league, remained in the bottom three.

For Liverpool, this was not the celebratory homecoming they would have envisaged after a first top-flight title in 30 years but their march towards the 100-point barrier continues.

A tepid first half made very clear that Villa's game plan was to sit deep and frustrate Liverpool, who simply could not find a way through.

Indeed, when the first shot on target finally arrived in the 33rd minute it was Alisson who was called into action and not former Reds goalkeeper Pepe Reina.

That Douglas Luiz strike, easily dealt with by Alisson, proved to be the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock before the interval.

With Liverpool having won their previous 23 home league matches, they were always likely to emerge victorious in this one and Klopp's side got the job done in the second half.

The German made a triple change on the hour mark, introducing Jordan Henderson, Roberto Firmino and Georginio Wijnaldum.

And finally, the breakthrough came. Mane – who scored a 94th-minute winner in the reverse fixture – stroked home from Naby Keita's assist via the underside of the crossbar to register his 50th Anfield goal for Liverpool.

Jones, who signed a new contract this week, was introduced in the 85th minute and scored his first Premier League goal four minutes later, steering into the bottom-left corner from Mohamed Salah's knockdown. 

What does it mean? Reds still rolling towards history

Liverpool are now 11 points shy of the century mark and that is a tally they will be eager to reach to cap this remarkable campaign in style. Villa, meanwhile, are running out of time to put enough points on the board to avoid an immediate return to the Championship.

Mane the man for Liverpool

In a poor game of precious few chances, Mane had to step up when the time came, and he did just that. The Senegalese connected well with Keita's low cross and that strike took the wind out of Villa's sails, leaving them vulnerable to another setback, which Jones duly provided.

Robertson off his game

Andrew Robertson's stellar form this season has been one of the many highlights for Liverpool, but he has now turned in a couple of off-colour displays. The full-back was arguably the worst of a bad bunch at City and was only marginally better here, in far less testing circumstances.

What's next?

Brighton and Hove Albion will be the next team to form a guard of honour for the champions when Liverpool head to the south coast on Wednesday, while Villa must defeat in-form Manchester United on Thursday if they are to avoid having their winless run taken into double figures.

Virgil van Dijk has revealed the Jurgen Klopp factor was the reason he joined Liverpool instead of Manchester City or Chelsea.

The centre-back left Southampton for Anfield in January 2018 for a reported fee of £75million, which represented a record transfer for a defender.

There were other interested parties in Van Dijk's services, notably City and Chelsea, but the Netherlands international only had eyes for the Reds due to manager Klopp, who led Liverpool to their first Premier League title this season.

"I had the chance to go to Chelsea and Man City," Van Dijk said in quotes published in several national newspapers.

"When you compare the clubs, you look at the history, the town, the current squad, their plans for the near future.

"But the most important thing you look at is the manager - and Jurgen Klopp is an important reason why I chose for Liverpool.

"Klopp has something special. Is it his energy? Is it his overall image?

"I sometimes sit and think about what he does and what he has more than others.

"I think it is his man-management. These days that is more important than anything in football.

"Klopp gives you this great feeling. He is genuinely happy when you walk into the club in the morning. It may sound daft, but that really inspires you as a player."

Van Dijk, 28, has already lifted the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup as a Liverpool player.

In the coming weeks he will get his hands on the Premier League trophy too, with Liverpool's status as champions confirmed last month with seven games still to play.

"I have always said that lifting the Premier League ­trophy would be a dream. That dream has become reality now," he added.

Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz has been tipped to leave the Bundesliga outfit at the end of the season.

Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are among the possible destinations.

Havertz's future could become a lot clearer following Leverkusen's 4-2 defeat to Bayern in the DFB-Pokal decider.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA BOOSTED BY HAVERTZ NEWS

Kai Havertz wants to meet with Bayer Leverkusen to discuss his future after the DFB-Pokal final loss to Bayern Munich, according to Bild journalist Christian Falk.

Havertz scored a consolation goal as Leverkusen went down 4-2 to Bayern in Berlin on Saturday.

Chelsea are interested in Havertz, Real Madrid are hesitant about signing the Germany international in 2020, while Bayern are not prepared to make a bid this year.

Liverpool, Barcelona and Manchester United have also been linked.

 

ROUND-UP

- Falk also claims Bayern star Thiago Alcantara could join Liverpool or United. Bayern are braced for Thiago to leave at the end of the season and the Spanish midfielder has been tipped to move to Premier League champions Liverpool. However, United are also reportedly interested.

United, Arsenal, Napoli and Atletico Madrid are among the teams eyeing a cut-price deal for Madrid outcast James Rodriguez, says Marca. Everton and Wolves have also been mentioned as suitors.

- According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal are desperate to sign Atletico midfielder Thomas Partey, so much so they are prepared to sell either Matteo GuendouziAlexandre Lacazette or Lucas Torreira to fund the transfer.

- Gazzetta journalist Nicolo Schirra reports Sporting CP are in advanced negotiations to extend Joelson Fernandes' contract. The Portuguese side are looking to increase the 17-year-old's release clause from €45million to €100m amid interest from Barca, Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig.

Paris Saint-Germain are eyeing Monaco full-back Djibril Sidibe, Foot Mercato claims. The Ligue 1 champions are looking to sign a right-back after Thomas Meunier left for Dortmund.

- Madrid forward Luka Jovic remains Milan's first choice to replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Calciomercato says. Milan are ready to meet Jovic's agent as they look to pair the Serbia international with former Eintracht Frankfurt team-mate Ante Rebic at San Siro. Patrik Schick – who spent the season on loan at Leipzig from Roma – is another option should Milan fail to land Jovic.

Inter prefer David Alaba over Chelsea full-back Emerson Palmieri and have already met the Bayern star twice, according to SportMediaset. Alaba has also been linked to Chelsea, PSG, Madrid and Manchester City.

Liverpool youngster Curtis Jones has signed a new long-term contract with the Premier League champions. 

The 19-year-old – who became Liverpool's youngest ever captain when he led out a youthful side in an FA Cup replay against Shrewsbury Town at Anfield in February – has started to break into the Reds' first team this term. 

Having made his Premier League debut as a substitute in a 3-0 win over Bournemouth in December, Jones scored his first senior goal to claim a 1-0 win in over Merseyside rivals Everton in the FA Cup third round in January. 

"For me, as everyone knows, it's massive," Jones told Liverpool's official website. 

'It's my boyhood club and it's the whole of my family's club as well, so for me it's huge. I think the environment and stuff is all positive and keeps me as positive as I can. 

"Of course, we're working with a great manager and around the best team in the world, so for me it was easy and [I'm] extremely proud." 

Jones, who has made eight appearances in total this term, also believes he is learning from the best as he attempts to cement his place in Jurgen Klopp's squad.

"It's a perfect environment. I've got great boys around that help me every day – Hendo (Jordan Henderson), Millie (James Milner), [Adam] Lallana, Fabinho, the whole of the team is perfect for me to watch every day in training," he added.

"But to be involved with them, you pick up so many things and the detail in what they do and they do everything perfect – their professionalism around the place, it's perfect.

"So I'm picking up all that and taking it into my game and to me as a person. It's paying off right."

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp insists he will not dwell on the 4-0 loss to Manchester City and is so used to suffering setbacks that he is able to process them better these days.

Klopp was visibly irritated as he faced the media in the immediate aftermath of the heavy defeat to Pep Guardiola's side on Thursday, the champions' first match since winning the Premier League.

The German insists nights like that one never stop hurting, but his preference is to use them as fuel for the challenges to come rather than shouting wildly at his players.

"I've had so many setbacks, so I have for sure needed more than a night, but not much longer," he said about coping with the City defeat ahead of Sunday's return to top-flight action at home to Aston Villa.

"I decided a long time ago that things I cannot change, I'm not bothered [about], and I cannot change the [City] result. I can only use it for the next game. 

"But you cannot stop feeling and a defeat feels really, really average.

"It needs time, but sometimes human beings give themselves too much time to suffer from something that didn't work out, in my understanding. 

"I'm not 'self-pity'; I'm not talented in that. I'm very self-critical and give myself stick for stuff that I don't like, but I was not a lot of time self-pitying because as long as I'm healthy, I can be influential on my situation. 

"Do I have problems with people who see differently? I'm not sure. I don't know a lot of people in these moments.

"Who do you meet after a defeat? My players listen to me and a little bit my mood, if I'm right, so if I come in shouting like crazy then we can suffer longer. 

"If you focus on the facts, then you can see, 'Okay, it's done, the boss is obviously not 100 per cent happy but we work already on a solution, so let's carry on'. 

"I don't expect from other people that they're like me, as I don't expect that I'm like other people."

With six games to go, Liverpool are still in with a chance of beating the single-season points record held by City, who recorded 100 in 2017-18.

The Reds have 86 points, with Brighton and Hove Albion and Burnley their next two opponents after facing Villa.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp thinks Bayern Munich and Manchester City are the clear favourites to win this season's Champions League.

Both teams are in strong positions to progress to the quarter-finals, City having beaten Real Madrid 2-1 while Bayern eased to a 3-0 victory away to Chelsea in the last-16 first legs.

This season's competition is set to resume in August in a mini-tournament format in Lisbon, having been put on hold since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Liverpool's defence of the trophy was ended in a 4-2 aggregate defeat to Atletico Madrid, and Klopp expects one of City or Bayern to triumph.

"For me, the two big favourites are Bayern and Man City," he said ahead of Liverpool's Premier League meeting with Aston Villa. "That would be an interesting game.

"Bayern played obviously a very impressive season in Germany. After Hansi Flick took over, it was really impressive what they did. These are the two favourites. I don't know exactly how it could happen - we'll see in the semi-final or whatever.

"The competition will be really interesting because it's completely new. When you see Man City, when you see the squad... everybody needs luck: if you want to win the Champions League, you should have your best line-up ready for the final if that's possible.

"It's not that the other teams have no chance, but I really think these two are the favourites. Massive, massive chance. But, even in the game [Liverpool's 4-0 loss to City on Thursday], which City won deservedly, we should have scored three goals.

"We should have and we would have on a normal day. They have so much quality, but no team in the world is perfect. City are not, Bayern are not, we are not. But you need to be nearly perfect in these moments to win the Champions League, obviously.

"I will watch it, the little tournament, it will be really interesting, but unfortunately, we have nothing really to do with it this year."

James Milner admits leaving Liverpool could have been an option in Jurgen Klopp's first full season at the club after he was asked to play out of position. 

The 34-year-old left Manchester City in 2015 to play more regularly in centre midfield yet spent a lot of the 2016-17 campaign plying his trade at left-back. 

Milner's experience has aided Liverpool in the past few seasons and he signed a new deal in December that runs through to 2022. 

But the former England international could have pushed for a move away three years ago and says it took time to adapt to Klopp's demands on the training pitch. 

On moving to left-back, he told Sky Sports: "It was what the manager needed at the time. There's always going to be positions you prefer but you do what's needed for the team.

"I suppose at that point I could have turned around and said, 'No I don't want to do that, I want to leave'.

"He came to ask me to do it in pre-season and my mindset was, 'Okay, how can I be the best I can be in that position?' and I started to learn the role.  

"A few of the boys were a bit surprised when we set up at pre-season training the next day and I was at left-back, but that was part of the fun." 

Asked about Klopp's intense training sessions, Milner added: "We had to adapt to that - there were a lot of injuries early on. 

"People were saying, 'You can't do that!' You could, you just had to get used to it. Straight away you saw the tempo and the intensity in that first game at Spurs. 

"It was ridiculous really, it wasn't like we played at a slow tempo under Brendan [Rodgers]. That journey started then with the manager's methods and how he wanted us to play. 

"You saw it come in bit by bit. One week the quality would be there and the next week we would be miles off it. 

"That was a process again; the consistency started to come in and, eventually, learning how to win ugly and become a more rounded team."

Milner has been restricted to just eight league starts this term, however, and has recently been linked with a move back to boyhood club Leeds United.

The Yorkshire club are on course to earn promotion to the top flight after a 16-year absence and Milner has not ruled out returning at some stage in the future.

"You never know in football what's around the corner, but I just want to contribute and win as many trophies as I can for Liverpool and add to the great history here," he said.

"I'm biased, but I think the Premier League will be a better place for Leeds in it, and it will be weird to play against them next season."

Jadon Sancho still wants a move to Manchester United, while Inter could be ready to buy Alexis Sanchez.

Sancho, 20, has been linked with numerous European giants after starring for Borussia Dortmund.

While he could be set for Old Trafford, United may opt to get rid of Sanchez permanently.

 

TOP STORY – SANCHO STILL WANTS MAN UTD MOVE

Sancho wants a move to Manchester United but the Premier League giants must still find an agreement with Dortmund, according to Fabrizio Romano.

The England international has been linked to the likes of United, Liverpool and Chelsea.

Sancho is contracted at Dortmund, where he arrived in 2017, until 2022.

 

ROUND-UP

- On loan at Inter this season, Sanchez could stay at San Siro even longer. Goal reports the Serie A giants are looking to sign the Chile international permanently from Manchester United, for a cut-price deal of €20million (£18m).

- Eric Garcia could be getting closer to a Barcelona return. Sport reports the LaLiga giants have started talks with Manchester City regarding the defender, who left Barca for the Premier League side in 2017.

- Amid uncertainty over his future, it seems Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is looking for a new deal at Arsenal, where his contract expires in 2021. ESPN reports the forward wants a minimum three-year contract worth £250,000 per week.

- Tottenham reportedly had a chance to move Tanguy Ndombele on. The Telegraph reports Spurs rejected an offer to send Ndombele to Juventus, with Aaron Ramsey heading in the opposite direction. Meanwhile, Goal says Tottenham are trying to sign Napoli forward Arkadiusz Milik, but are facing competition from Juve.

- Daniele De Rossi only retired earlier this year, but the former Italy international is seemingly already attracting interest to be a coach. According to Gianluca Di Marzio, Fiorentina are ready to offer the former midfielder the chance to take the helm.

Jurgen Klopp insisted he was "still the normal one" despite delivering a long-awaited league title for Liverpool.

Liverpool have secured their first league title since 1990 after a dominant Premier League campaign.

After taking the helm at Anfield in October 2015, Klopp labelled himself 'the normal one' – and the Liverpool manager said that had not changed.

"I am still the normal one. I. Am. Not. Special," he told the Mirror.

"I have a few skills and, luckily, they are needed in football, which is something I really love, but that's all. I am not special. I am not fishing for compliments.

"I think I am a good guy, I think I am a nice guy. That sounds boring but it is the truth."

Klopp has won the Premier League, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup since taking charge of Liverpool.

But the 53-year-old has no plans to extend his managerial career for too long, having coached against Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson – who turns 73 next month – in June.

"I don't see me doing that at that age. When I became a manager, I thought … 'Right, now 25 power years start," Klopp said.

"I was seven and a half years at Mainz, seven at Dortmund and in 2024 it will be 23 and half.

"I have no plans beyond that."

Jurgen Klopp will make sure all members of his squad receive a medal to celebrate Liverpool winning the Premier League, no matter how many games they have played during the season. 

Players need to have made five league appearances to get a medal and the vast majority of the Reds' first-team group have already qualified under the competition's criteria. 

However, youngsters Harvey Elliott, Curtis Jones and Neco Williams are currently under the threshold with six games remaining, potentially leaving Klopp with a dilemma over whether to give them minutes with the title already sewn up. 

Yet Liverpool's German boss believes they have already done enough to deserve one for their efforts in training throughout the campaign - and is even willing to give his own medal away to make sure every player is recognised for helping to end the club's 30-year wait to be crowned champions again. 

"I'd rather they think about the [five appearances] rule again, make it happen that if you have played one game then you should have a medal," Klopp told the media. 

"Five games? I’m not sure who came up with that idea. I don't think that it's a good rule because people don't understand how important the squad is to win a championship, then I cannot help the people to be honest.  

"If you have no games, you should still get a medal. If you're the second goalkeeper in a team and you have less games, you should get a medal. 

"You train five million times over a year and if you don't train at the highest level you have no chance to win a championship.  

"Someone decided you have to play five games to win a medal? These boys will get a medal, 100 per cent. I will produce it myself. They can have my medal.  

"We have to win football games; it's not about giving appearances away here and there. They deserve a medal and they will get a medal, if not from the Premier League then from me." 

The next opportunity for those on the fringes to play could come on Sunday when Liverpool take on relegation-threatened Aston Villa at Anfield.

Late goals from Andy Robertson and Sadio Mane secured a dramatic 2-1 victory in the reverse fixture at Villa Park, much to Klopp’s delight. However, it was the team's desire to keep going until the end, rather than the three points, that pleased him the most.

"I thought it was so important because the season before showed us that we have to be pretty much perfect to have a chance to win the league. City usually wins all their games, which was obviously the case the year before," Klopp said. 

"We equalised with the pressure we made in that situation, but I was not too surprised. What I loved most in that game was how we took the ball actually. Everybody knew, while we don’t know if we can win the game, we should at least give it a proper try."

Chelsea need someone that can have the same impact on their effectiveness at set-pieces as Virgil van Dijk did at Liverpool, says Frank Lampard.

The Blues twice saw Tomas Soucek put the ball in the net from corners during a 3-2 loss to West Ham on Wednesday, though his first was disallowed due to a contentious offside decision following a VAR review.

Lampard acknowledges dead-ball situations represent one of the Blues' biggest weaknesses and feels it is something they should take into account when assessing transfer targets.

The Chelsea head coach pointed to Liverpool's improvement from set-pieces after they signed Van Dijk, a figure who has been pivotal in their ascent to becoming Premier League champions.

"We've looked at set-plays this season. When we came into the club, we looked at the stats from last season and we were bottom of the league in defending set-plays, in terms of other teams getting big chances against us, we were second-bottom in attacking," said Lampard ahead of Saturday's Premier League meeting with Watford.

"If you look at personnel, and I don't like to talk about my playing days, but we didn't really work so much on set-pieces at all really - with certain managers more than others. There were probably a few reasons why and they were mainly John Terry, Gary Cahill, Didier Drogba, Michael Ballack and [Branislav] Ivanovic, so you stick it in an area and they defend it or they score goals.

"I think similarly with Liverpool, there was a lot of talk about them with set-pieces two or three seasons ago, they were zonal, they were conceding a lot.

"They signed Virgil van Dijk and he heads everything that comes in the box out, so there's a huge relation to personnel and if you don't have that in terms of big size across the team, I think trying to compete as hard as you can, making it difficult for other teams to score is the main thing.

"And there's no doubt – I'm not making excuses when I say that because we've not done this well enough on the pitch, and that has to improve – when you look at who you might bring in, with the balance of the squad, in the modern day its certainly something to take into account when looking at recruitment."

Chelsea made Kepa Arrizabalaga their record signing and the most expensive goalkeeper in the world by paying the £71.6million (€80m) release clause in his Athletic Bilbao contract in 2018.

Lampard dropped Kepa for Willy Caballero earlier this season and reports of interest from Spain intensified after the 25-year-old put in another disappointing display against West Ham.

Asked about the rumours linking the keeper with a move away, the Blues boss said: "I'm not talking about any potential [deals], what we may do at the end of the season or not. I'm going to focus on what we've got in front of us.

"With Kepa, there's been a lot spoken about him this season. All I want from him, as with every player, is the right mentality and attitude and approach to the game – I'm absolutely certain I'm going to get that from all of them because I can feel the group is in that position – and obviously to just try to do his job as well as he can do.

"I'm happy with him and that's how we keep working. I'm not going to talk about what may be at the end of the season."

Thiago Alcantara wants a new challenge away from Bayern Munich while Kai Havertz is unlikely to be joining the Bundesliga champions this year, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has revealed. 

Midfielder Thiago is under contract at the Allianz Arena until the end of next season yet has made clear to the club he is ready to move on at this stage of his career. 

The Spain international, who joined Bayern from Barcelona in July 2013, has been linked with newly crowned Premier League winners Liverpool. 

In an interview with BILD, chief executive Rummenigge made clear the Reds have yet to make contact over the 29-year-old, though his departure during the next window could still be possible.

"A top guy on and off the pitch," Rummenigge said of Thiago.

"We negotiated with him in a serious manner and granted him all his wishes. But it looks like he wants to do something new at the end of his career. 

"We've never had any contact with Liverpool. If he wants to do this, we have to deal with it.

"We don't want to lose a player for free next year. I say that very clearly."

While Thiago could be leaving, Bayern have bolstered their squad by signing Tanguy Kouassi and Leroy Sane, the latter arriving from Manchester City after a year-long transfer saga. 

However, a deal for Havertz is not expected to happen due to financial reasons, with clubs having to adapt accordingly following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Asked about Bayer Leverkusen playmaker Havertz, Rummenigge replied: "We also have a very big challenge ahead of us financially. Even if we like the player, we wouldn't be able to lift it financially this year." 

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