Champions League-winning Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick kept the assembled media on their toes when he discussed the future of Thiago Alcantara immediately after the Bavarians’ victory over Paris Saint-Germain.
A header from former PSG winger Kingsley Coman was enough for Bayern to pick up their sixth European Cup in Lisbon, where Thiago played a starring role in what many people expect to be his final game for the club.
The former Barcelona midfielder does still have one year left on his contract in Munich, but there has been an acceptance at the club that he will leave for quite some time now.
Liverpool are the front-runners for the 29-year-old’s signature, with the Premier League champions now expected to ramp up their efforts as Bayern’s season comes to a close.
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Flick would have made some Reds fans jump, though, we he responded to a journalists’ question about Thiago leaving by saying: “No, he told me he is staying.”
As his press conference fell silent, the 55-year-old – with a dash of comic timing – then added: “You pulled a brilliant face!
“No, I just thanked him for our time together, just like I did every other player.
“I don’t know and he doesn’t know yet either (which club he will join), because we all focused on this Champions League final. I think we will have to wait for what the following days will bring.”
Former Germany assistant boss Flick only took over from Niko Kovac in November following a career on the fringes, and he has masterminded a stunning turnaround the win the treble of Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League.
“I am proud of the team,” he said.
“When I saw the headlines in November, all I read was that nobody is afraid of Bayern anymore. The development since then has been crazy.
“We deserved to win, because of the second half. You could already see in training at our winter camp in January that something big was growing. The team just has this overwhelming will to win.”