Thiago Alcántara is the option which Real Madrid are considering as a replacement for Mateo Kovacic, who has gone out on loan to Chelsea. Thiago is a player who Julen Lopetegui rates highly - he was a first choice under the coach with the Spanish national team.
According to Onda Cero's El Transistor programme, Real Madrid have already reached an agreement with the player and now all that remains is to begin negotiating with Bayern Munich. Unlike with James and Lewandowski, the Germans would be willing to listen to Madrid's offer seeing that for new coach Niko Kovac does not view Thiago as a player that cannot be sold at any cost.
Thiago at a crossroads
The 27-year-old, who spent his early career in Barcelona's youth academy, is under contract with Bayern until June 2021, but after fives seasons in Munich where he has been an undisputed first choice, he could be open to taking on a new challenge - especially if it means he is reunited with Julen Lopetegui.
Thiago is a player with vast experience who is used to playing games at the top level; his touch, vision and ability to move the ball around quickly and efficiently are qualities which could suit Lopetegui's Madrid. And his versatility mean he could slot in different positions - either playing out wide, just behind the centre-forward or in midfield. Bayern might be looking for a fee of around 50 million euros for him.