With the 2019/20 Premier League title wrapped up, Liverpool will already be planning ahead of their title defence next season, with the transfer window set to open for Premier League and EFL clubs on July 27th.
But the question is, how do Liverpool improve their already world-class squad ahead of next season? Well, if speculative reports are to be believed, Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara could possibly join the Reds in the next transfer window, and for a cut-price fee too, with the former Barcelona midfielder's contract at the Bavarian giants expiring at the end of next season.
Latest speculation suggests Bayern are "doing everything to sell him now" - but the ECHO understands links to Liverpool are wide of the mark with Thiago not a player the champions are considering a move for at this present time.
The Spanish midfielder is widely considered one of the most technically gifted players in world football, so how would he fit into Jurgen Klopp's squad should the Reds rethink their position?
We used Football Manager 2020 to have a bit of fun and see what could happen if Liverpool sign Thiago this summer.
Thiago 'signs' for Liverpool in 2020
The Football Manager database currently contains data on more than 800,000 individuals and 45,000 active clubs, with data sourced from their international on the ground scouting network which numbers roughly 1,000 people, among their ranks are some who are involved in football in professional capacities, including scouts and coaches.
In addition, each annual iteration of Football Manager has built-in algorithms which check for outliers and data discrepancies. Data accuracy is further ensured by input from contributors who are active within the professional game (players, agents etc.) who provide regular feedback.
To set up our simulation, we booted up Football Manager 2020 then opened the editor and arranged for Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago to join the club for £30million in July 2020.
Obviously, transfers might not happen during this date in real-life, but this is the best way to get an accurate simulation of his performance for the club over an entire campaign.
We then simulated two entire seasons on the game, to see what kind of impact the former Barcelona midfielder could have at Liverpool. This is what Thiago's profile looks like in Football Manager 2020 in July 2020, with all of his attributes shown in the screenshot below.
The Spanish international is a world class midfielder with supreme technical ability, but how would he fit in to Jurgen Klopp's side?
On to the 2020/21 season, with the signing of Thiago secured....
Thiago's 2020/21 season for Liverpool
Thiago was a first team regular but he wasn't a nailed on starter, particularly in the league, with Jurgen Klopp opting to rotate the Spaniard, Gini Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita in the two more advanced midfield positions in a 4-3-3. That's some midfield depth!
Lets take a closer look at Thiago's season stats in 2020/21.
The former Barcelona maestro made 38 appearances for the club across all competitions, with 24 of those coming in the Premier League, of which 21 were starts.
So he featured in most, but not all, of Liverpool's league games. However, Klopp did play Thiago regularly in Europe and in the FA Cup. In the 40 appearances, Thiago registered eight assists and scored four goals, earning a strong average match rating of 7.06 across all competitions.
When you delve deeper into the stats, you can see that Thiago was one of the main creative forces in the team, with only Sadio Mane creating more chances and registering more assists, and in far fewer appearances no less.
So despite making few appearances, Thiago created more chances for his teammates than Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Trent Alexander-Arnold. What Liverpool had bought was a prime creative midfielder at his peak.
As such, this is how Liverpool's statistically best eleven looked at the end of the 2020/21 season.
Curtis Jones and Rhian Brewster broke into Klopp's first team squad, with Joe Gomez cementing himself as Van Dijk's defensive partner, whilst Thiago lined up in a midfield three with Wijnaldum and Fabinho.
So, how did Liverpool perform in all competitions with Thiago in the team?
Liverpool's 2020/21 season
Well it's good news, because in our FM2020 simulation Liverpool win the Premier League for the second season in a row in 2020/21, earning 92 points and being defeated just four times, finishing three points ahead of Man City.
But there wasn't such good news in the Champions League, with Barcelona getting their revenge over Jurgen Klopp's side in the semi-final, despite scoring an away goal at Camp Nou.
But Liverpool did complete a domestic double though, winning the FA Cup with victory over Arsenal in the final, with Jordan Henderson scoring a late winner.
So, Football Manager 2020 predicts that Thiago would be a superb signing for Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool ahead of the 2020/21 season, with the Spaniard becoming a key part of the Reds team who retained the Premier League title and won the FA Cup.
According to his performances in our simulation, Thiago would become the side's main creative force from central midfield, giving the side a new dynamic in attack, adding to what is already a world class Liverpool side.
As always these simulations are just a bit of fun, but it's always interesting to see what this football management simulation game predicts, in this case, if Liverpool do in fact sign Thiago ahead of next season.
With his transfer value likely to be attractive given the circumstances around his contract, Thiago would be a very good signing for the club, according to Football Manager 2020 at least.
Would you take the signing of Thiago at Liverpool?