Thiago Alcantara’s admiration for Liverpool was clear when he spoke about the Reds at a press conference at Anfield last year.
The Bayern Munich midfielder is being strongly linked with the new Premier League champions this summer, with Jurgen Klopp refusing to deny the rumour when he spoke after the Reds’ 2-0 win over Aston Villa on Sunday.
“Would you be surprised if I didn’t answer?” said Klopp.
“He’s a good player I like a lot but like many others out there.”
The 29-year-old seems certain to leave Bayern this summer after it was confirmed by both chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and manager Hansi Flick that the former Barcelona midfielder would like to embrace a new challenge.
Thiago appeared as a late substitute in Saturday’s 4-2 DFB-Pokal final victory over Bayer Leverkusen in Berlin, and is set to be involved in the latter stages of the Champions League when they resume next month.
Bayern are 3-0 up against Chelsea from the first leg of their last-16 tie at Stamford Bridge in February, but their previous visit to England at the same stage of the competition last year had been a much tighter affair.
The German giants drew 0-0 in the first leg at Anfield, before Liverpool delivered one of their standout performances of the Klopp era when they won the return leg 3-1 in Germany on their way to the Champions League crown.
Prior to that first game on Merseyside though, Thiago heaped praise on Liverpool and the club’s fans.
“We know perfectly, this team. What they are, what they have,” he said the day before the first leg.
“They play awesome football these past years, and they increase every year.
“They are fighting in the Premier League now with the same points as [Manchester] City.
“In the Champions League they do it, not so great in performances (Liverpool had somewhat scraped through the group stage with three defeats), but they are great.
“Yeah we are looking forward because we expect a great match, not just against a great team but also a great crowd.”
Thiago could cost the Reds around £31million, with reports in Germany claiming that a deal is ready to be done.