Reports in Spain suggest that Bayern Munich playmaker Thiago Alcantara, who is a former FC Barcelona player, has agreed a deal to join a LaLiga giant.
According to Spanish radio station Onda Cero, the former Blaugrana star is close to joining Real Madrid, and is expected to replace Croatia international Mateo Kovacic, who has joined Chelsea on a season-long loan.
Los Blancos – who were not keen to let the Croatian leave the Santiago Bernabeu, albeit on loan – are apparently concerned the player will want to make his stay with the Blues permanent after the 2018/19 season, and are looking at securing a back-up sooner rather than later as a result.
Julen Lopetegui is said to be keen on replacing the 2018 FIFA World Cup finalist with Thiago, who is believed to be the manager’s top target for now.
The tactician is apparently a massive admirer of the midfielder, and wants to work with the Bayern star again – the pair worked together during Lopetegui’s time as Spain’s national team boss.
The 27-year-old, whose current contract with the Bavarian club expires in 2021, is understood to be keen on a move back to LaLiga, where he came through Barca’s famous La Masia academy as a youngster before progressing to the senior team.
Thiago, who is said to be valued at €50 million (R796 million) by the Bundesliga giants, has made 153 appearances for Bayern since joining them in 2013, scoring 25 goals and assisting a further 27 strikes.