Man City could impact Thiago transfer plans as 'talks held' with new club ahead of Liverpool exit

(Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Liverpool has confirmed Thiago Alcântara will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the season. But the Spanish midfielder may not have to wait too long to secure a move elsewhere.

Thiago's four seasons at Anfield have been hampered by injuries and he has made just one cameo appearance this term. That was a five-minute outing in the defeat to Arsenal back in February.

He picked up another injury in that match and hasn't played since but did take some part in training this week, ahead of the final match of the campaign against Wolves.

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He will look to maintain his fitness over the summer and reports in Spain suggest he is being lined up for a return to his homeland. According to Relevo, Girona is looking to sign Thiago and have already held talks with his representatives.

Girona has enjoyed a remarkable campaign and has secured qualification for next season's Champions League. It could yet leapfrog Barcelona into second place in La Liga, with two matches left to play.

But the club is part-owned by the City Football Group (CFG) — founded by Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak — and those connections could stop it playing in Europe's premier competition.

UEFA rules state that clubs in the same multi-club ownership model cannot compete in the same competition. The Times reports that they will only be able to compete if City's Abu Dhabi owners reduce their stake in one of the teams.

If Girona is able to play in the Champions League, Thiago is seen as an ideal addition. But his salary could cause a problem, having earned around $11m (£8.5m/€10m) per season at Anfield. A huge pay cut would likely be needed to secure a move.

Jürgen Klopp lauded the ex-Barcelona midfielder in his pre-match press conference on Friday, saying: "In a parallel world, I would have loved to see the career without injuries. He is, I'm not sure the best, but definitely one of the best I ever saw.

"He can do things, I'm not sure before that I thought were possible. He is in control of absolutely everything on the pitch." says: Liverpool fans unfortunately only saw glimpses of Thiago's true ability as injuries played their part. He did show just how good he can be though and at 33 he is hardly finished. A return to Spain may ultimately give his career some much-needed rejuvenation.