Jürgen Klopp’s moral high horse about Chelsea spending money during COVID took an arrow to the knee today with the announcement of Liverpool signing Thiago Alcântara from Bayern Münich for a cool £20m (plus £5m in potential add-ons). And while that doesn’t sound like much at all, even in a pandemic, the finances start to look worse when we consider that Liverpool will also be paying their new man about £200k a week for the next four years, bringing their total financial commitment to about £60m and change.
When you add in that Thiago will turn 30 later this season, Klopp’s quotes about an uncertain economic future become even more silly.
“For some clubs, it seems to be less important how uncertain the future is. Owned by countries, owned by oligarchs. That’s the truth. We’re a different kind of club, it’s always been that way.”
-Jürgen Klopp; source: BBC 5 Live
"We're a different kind of club"— BBC 5 Live Sport (@5liveSport) September 9, 2020
#LFC manager Jurgen Klopp defends the club's caution in the transfer market compared to title rivals "owned by countries and oligarchs".
⚽ https://t.co/QfaBGi407M#bbcfootball pic.twitter.com/NYKYUkRMkN
As amusing as that is — how much did the likes Van Dijk, Alisson, Salah cost again? — Liverpool signing Thiago is bad news for the rest of the league. He’s a fantastic midfielder, one of the best at his position and still in his prime, and he may even play against us this weekend. Given the relatively low entry fee, it’s surprising that more teams weren’t in for him.
According to The Athletic’s breakdown of this deal, Bayern Munich were certainly hoping to engineer a bidding war after the 29-year-old told them that he wasn’t going to stay (even though they were set to pay him even more than Liverpool). But the likes of Barcelona, Arsenal, and Chelsea all passed, in part due to Thiago’s infatuation with Liverpool — ugh — and in part because that meant that he was asking for more money to join any other team.
How much more? Much, much more. Over 50 per cent more.
Sources indicate that other potential suitors were quoted salary demands of £17 million a year (£327,000 per week).
That would’ve made Thiago Chelsea’s highest paid player — or at least on par with the highest paid player if Kai Havertz is actually getting paid more than N’Golo Kanté’s £290k per week.
Chelsea may be spending money hand over fist, but we’re at least committing most of our resources to much younger players who will either be here for a very long time, or will represent some resale value later (such income is partly why we’ve been able to afford to spend big this summer). Liverpool’s commitment of £60m to Thiago is just about absolute. But they’re not that kind of club, right?