Thiago Alcantara speaks out after exit confirmed by Liverpool

Thiago Alcantara will leave Liverpool at the end of the season, the club have confirmed.

Thiago's contract expires at the end of the month and the Reds have no plans to renew the terms that were signed in September 2020 when he joined from Bayern Munich for £25m.

The midfielder has been plagued by fitness troubles during his time on Merseyside, particularly in the last 12 months, and he featured for just a few minutes late on at Arsenal back in February.

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Thiago's last start for Liverpool came 14 months ago in a 3-0 defeat at Wolves and he leaves Anfield having made just 98 appearances in a period that has seen Jurgen Klopp's side play 226 times. He has started just one of the last 74 matches and is believed to be one of the club's highest earners.

The former Barcelona star brought forward plans for surgery 12 months ago in an effort to be fit for the start of this season but the 33-year-old's only run-out lasted just five minutes in the 3-1 loss at Arsenal on February 4.

The former Spain international snubbed interest from the Saudi Pro League last summer in an effort to contribute significantly to a new-look midfield department but the entire term has been wrecked by injury issues and the prospect of a new deal was never on the cards.

At the age of 29, Thiago's capture was in contrast to the usual transfer policy favoured by Liverpool and owners Fenway Sports Group but the club were desperate to take advantage of his desire for a new challenge and viewed him at the time as one of the finest midfielders in Europe having shone for Bayern Munich in the 2019/20 term, which ended with the Bundesliga giants lifting the Champions League.

Thiago's time with the Reds was plagued by setbacks, however, with his first lay-off, which lasted over two months, coming less than a month after he was signed in a 2-2 draw with Everton in the Merseyside derby.

He said: “Appreciation and gratitude – they are two words that come to mind on the day I have to say goodbye to all of you, Reds,

“Thankful, too.

“Thankful for the opportunity to have been a part of this city, this club and this community. The continuous support I have received since day one has been incredible: Anfield cheering, the Kop chanting… amazing, overwhelming.

“A very unique fan base for a unique club.

“These past four years have been a time of learning for me and my family. Some wins, some defeats, but without a doubt, a life-changing experience.

“Teammates, coaches, staff and club employees: you were all part of it.

“And to the fans, I don’t have the words. Just know you will have my deepest gratitude forever. Thank you, it was an honour.

“All the best always, Liverpool FC.”

Klopp said: "Before he even came to Liverpool I believed that if you really love football it would make a lot of sense if you watched Thiago Alcantara play.

"Technically, he is so, so good. A talent who could play in any team in the world and it was a privilege to have him with us.

"I already knew a lot about him as a footballer before he got here – what he did at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, how could you not? – and I could not have been happier when he decided to take on a new challenge with us.

"From that point on I got to see him up close and all I can say is 'Wow'. Most importantly, he was part of a new story and helped us develop as a team because of his special qualities.

"I know injuries have been a frustration for him and also for us but the level that he was able to play at when he was available was incredible. This is what I will remember.

"Now he will go in a new direction with his family and we can only wish them well. Wherever he plays next I would be happy to watch. An artist of the game who will only ever paint the most beautiful pictures."