Soccer

Bayern boss hands Liverpool and Arsenal boosts with Thiago and Coutinho comments

Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick has all-but confirmed the departure of both Thiago and Philippe Coutinho, in a boost to Liverpool and Arsenal respectively.

The Premier League sides are seeking moves for the duo before the October 5 transfer deadline.

Liverpool remain the front-runners for Thiago, despite recent interest from Manchester City and the player's former boss Pep Guardiola.

While Arsenal continue to be linked with a loan move for Coutinho, who isn't wanted by Bayern or Barcelona this summer.

Speaking of Thiago, Flick told SportBild: "As a person and as a footballer, I can understand Thiago.

"He wants a new challenge, which in my opinion should be the Premier League."

He added: "He gives the team more security.

Coutinho was only on loan at Bayern this season, and Flick lamented the fact the Brazilian and fellow loanee Ivan Perisic will need to replaced this summer.

"We will have to replace them with the same quality," he admitted.

Coutinho continues to be linked with a move to Arsenal.

But another Brazilian all-but confirmed as a new Gunners star is former Chelsea star Willian.

The 32-year-old left Stamford Bridge last weekend and is expected to complete a move across London in the coming days.

"Coutinho has been linked with virtually everybody and seems, if I am honest, a bit unsettled," said former Arsenal star Martin Keown.

"I think Willian is a safer bet. He's in the capital, he knows the Premier League very well and he's a top performer.

"I think it's a huge loss for Chelsea."

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On Willian, he added: "I think that's a fantastic bit of business. I have always been a real admirer of Willian.

"When I saw what he has been doing this year at Chelsea with his free-kicks and penalties, he's so reliable.

"He has had his misfortunes with [Eden] Hazard being there. Sometimes he has had to play second-fiddle. Now he is fighting for a place with [Christian] Pulisic.

"I know there is a discussion over two or three years [contract], but I think he would be a really good acquisition for Arsenal."

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