Thiago Alcantara remains a key part of Bayern Munich’s squad for the 2018-19 season despite a host of central midfield options, says sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic.
The Barcelona youth product has been linked to a return to Camp Nou during the close-season, with Real Madrid and Manchester City also said to be interested in the 27-year-old.
And with Javi Martinez, Arturo Vidal, Sebastian Rudy, Corentin Tolisso, Leon Goretzka, James Rodriguez, Renato Sanches and Thomas Muller all vying for a starting role it had been suggested Bayern could cash in.
However, Salihamidzic is adamant the Spain international is very much part of head coach Niko Kovac’s plans.
“Of course we are planning with him,” he told Suddeutsche Zeitung. “It will be an interesting battle for places with nine midfielders.
“It’s the club’s duty to the coach to put together a squad for where no discontent is pre-existing, and at the moment we have – more or less – nine central midfielders for probably only three positions.”
Since arriving from Barca in 2013 Thiago has won five Bundesliga titles and two DFB-Pokals.
However, he suggested in May that his future with the Bavarian side is not all clear when asked if he would stay.
But the club have been urged to sell Thiago by their former star Lothar Matthaus, who criticised him for performances in big games after their elimination from the Champions League semi-finals last season.
“I do not know where he is with his head. With these issues, he is not a player for Bayern Munich,” the ex-Germany star said.
“If there is an appropriate offer, you can think about it. Especially since Bayern have Thomas Müller, James Rodríguez and Leon Goretzka for the same position “