Thiago Alcantara has an agreement in place with either Manchester United or Liverpool, or both, claims former Bayern Munich chief Uli Hoeness.
The ex-president of the German giants, who left his role last November, revealed Thiago was offered a new bumper four-year deal but that the player is eager for a new challenge.
Liverpool have appeared to be at the front of the queue for the Spanish international throughout the summer, but United have also been touted for a move, as Hoeness name-checked both Premier League rivals.
“We offered him [Thiago] a great four-year contract but in the last minute he changed his mind and told us he wants a new challenge,” Hoeness told Sport 1.
“He probably has an agreement with Liverpool or Manchester United, or with both.
“Both clubs did not come to us with an offer. They are bluffing and likely waiting until the last week of the window to make a cheap offer. Bayern must decide whether they want to play this game or stand their ground and keep Thiago.”
United have already bolstered their midfield this summer with the addition of Donny van de Beek from Ajax and are understood to be prioritising another player from the Bundesliga, in Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho.
But Thiago, 29, is among the world’s best central midfielders and would surely complement the likes of Van de Beek, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes should he sign for United. Liverpool have not made any major signings this summer, having missed out on Timo Werner, who went to Chelsea instead.