Bayern Munich honorary president Uli Hoeneß has accused Liverpool and Manchester United of 'blackmail' by reportedly reaching agreements with midfielder Thiago Alcántara without speaking to Bayern first.
It's Liverpool who are understood to have been leading the race for Thiago all summer but United have recently joined in the fun, and reports have suggested that both teams have reached agreements with the player if he were to join either side.
It's all gotten a little ugly now. Thiago's public insistence that he hadn't already told teammates he's leaving Bayern this summer attracted an article from Bild entitled 'Why Is Thiago Lying?', and now Hoeneß has hit out at his suitors for underhanded tactics.
“Thiago had a great offer with us for four years," he told Sport1 (via Sport.de). "A few days later he said that he was looking for a big challenge.
"Supposedly he is in agreement with Liverpool and Manchester United. The clubs have not yet approached Bayern. It’s not style, they want to blackmail us. But even if Thiago leaves, Kimmich, Goretzka and Müller will play. Then we have Tolisso, who was thrown back two years due to injuries.”
It wasn't only Liverpool and United who attracted Hoeneß's wrath. The Bayern chief also took the opportunity to hit out at David Alaba's agent, Pini Zahavi, claiming he is the only reason Alaba hasn't signed a new contract at the Allianz Arena.
"I had a coffee with Alaba a few weeks ago, but we haven't come to a conclusion yet," Hoeneß added. "He's a great guy, Hansi Flick really wants to keep him. Everyone wants him to stay with us, he's a very good player, but he has a greedy piranha for an advisor. His father, whom I like very much, lets himself be influenced by him.
"It's all about the money. If you knew what Mr. Zahavi is asking for himself - in the double-digit million range just for the signature of David - that is not possible at all. I understand that [sporting director] Hasan Salihamidžić completely freaked out at that during a conversation.
"I hope that David and his father understand that a four or five-year contract with Bayern is the best for them to ensure they fit into our salary structure. Then everyone would be happy. The last million that are involved don't make him happier, but they would mess up our salary structure. That's why the club has to be very tough on this."