Bayern Munich's midfield may no longer have Bastian Schweinsteiger in it, but Pep Guardiola's favorite Spaniard Thiago is still there and has decided to extended his stay in Munich.
Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara has extended his contract with Bayern Munich by two years until 2019. According to German newspaper "Bild", Thiago has improved his deal to earn up to nine million a year, including bonuses.
"We're happy that Thiago has decided to stay with Bayern for the long term. He's young and important player for the future of the club," said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. "He is young and an important player for the club's future," added the club chairman.
"Thiago or nothing" was the apparent demand from Bayern head coach Pep Guardiola in 2013, who added "If Thiago comes, it will be good for us, not just for me." Thiago joined Bayern from Barcelona for 25 million euros ($28.5 million), but it was far from a perfect start for the Spaniard who first suffered a syndesmosis tear in his right foot and then a serious knee injury that saw him miss more than a year. He returned in April 2015 and so far has made 25 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern, scoring two goals and assisting four.
"When he is fit he is an important player for me. His goal was be to play ten, 15 consecutive games," said Guardiola at the start of the season. So far, the midfielder has appeared in both of the club's league games this season, but only as a substitute.
With Thiago set to stay and play a key role, the likelihood of other members of Bayern's overloaded midfield leaving has risen. Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg, who was on loan at Augsburg for the second half of last season, is set for another loan deal with Leverkusen, Schalke and AC Milan all reportedly of interest. Bayern defender Dante is also of interest to Wolfsburg, while Athletic Bilbao's Aymeric Laporte is in turn a player Bayern are apparently keeping an eye on.
jh/rd (SID, dpa)