Flick determined to keep 'extraordinary' Thiago despite no contract progress

Omnisport

Hansi Flick hit out at the "so-called experts" who do not see the value in Thiago Alcantara as he reiterated his desire to keep the Bayern Munich midfielder.

Thiago's contract with Bayern runs out in 2021, and while the club have extended the deals of others such as Thomas Muller and Manuel Neuer, they have so far been unsuccessful in convincing the Spaniard to follow suit.

Given the form of Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka at the base of the Bayern midfield since the season resumed last month, some fans may be wondering if Thiago's extension is imperative.

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The 29-year-old, who is currently out injured with a groin problem, is not renowned for his scoring prowess - having found the net just three times in 24 Bundesliga appearances this term - and he has not registered an assist in a campaign that has seen Bayern win an eighth straight title.

However, as a ball-playing central midfielder who came through Barcelona's famed La Masia academy, Thiago's qualities are obvious to Flick, who remains desperate to keep him despite links with newly crowned Premier League champions Liverpool.

"There is no [contract] news. We always talk, almost every day, but there is no news," Flick told a news conference before Bayern's final Bundesliga game of the season against Wolfsburg.

"I see him every day at practice and at the games. There are always so-called experts who have their own opinions. When you see him on the pitch and in training, you see his extraordinary quality in possession of the ball.

"But he has now also shown that he can play against the ball. For me there are no two opinions about Thiago's quality.

"He is an exceptional player who gives a team that certain something. That's my opinion and there is no other one."

The focus is not just on potential outgoings at Bayern Munich, who are expected to be Leroy Sane's next destination after it was confirmed he would be departing Manchester City either this year or next.

Bayern have also been linked with a move for Real Madrid right-back Achraf Hakimi, who has spent the past two seasons on loan with rivals Borussia Dortmund.

A third campaign at Signal Iduna Park looks unlikely given BVB signed Thomas Meunier on Thursday, yet, amid suggestions Hakimi could be bound for Inter, Flick would not be drawn on Bayern's possible interest.

"He is currently under contract at Dortmund and I think he still belongs to Real Madrid," Flick added.

"Therefore, I don't have to worry about that. It's very difficult at the moment anyway concerning transfers. That's why I would like to stay out of it.

"Hasan [Salihamidzic, Bayern sporting director] and I are in a very good exchange. I have every confidence that we will have a very good team for the new season."

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