According to reports in France via talkSPORT, Mikel Arteta has held talks with Thiago Alcantara amid speculation Arsenal are trying to sign the £23m-rated Bayern Munich star this summer.
Thiago has been one of the best midfield playmakers on the planet in recent years and proved it once again with a virtuoso performance during Bayern’s 1-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League final on Sunday.
However, the 29-year-old is set for a move this summer as he has just one year left on his contract and has informed the Bundesliga giants that he won’t sign an extension as he wants a new challenge abroad.
The situation has led to Liverpool being strongly linked but it appears Arsenal are also eyeing a move for Thiago as talkSPORT are citing French journalist Patrick Moreau as claiming that Arteta has held talks with the midfielder on the phone.
The news comes after the Daily Mail claimed over the weekend that Arsenal had lodged an enquiry about signing Thiago but were struggling to meet Bayern Munich’s £23m asking price.
As per the newspaper report, Arsenal would also need to offload some players in order to make room for Thiago with the club trying to find buyers for the likes of Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi and Mohamed Elneny.
Obviously if we could sell those three and bring in Thiago it would be sensational business by Arsenal as the Spanish international is a world class player who would hugely enhance Arteta’s starting eleven.
However, I don’t for one minute believe we’ll win the race for his signature. Practically every club in the world would love to sign Thiago and I just don’t see Arsenal competing for him without Champions League football.
Liverpool appear to be the front runners and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t join Jurgen Klopp’s side but if he doesn’t end up at Anfield then I fully expect Thiago to join a Champions League club and a team competing for titles.
Arsenal are a work in progress and it would be a big risk for him to play out the best years of his career at a club that finished eighth in the Premier League last season.