'I hope he won't go' - Flick hoping Thiago stays at Bayern amid Liverpool links

Thiago Alcantara, Bayern Munich
The Spanish international playmaker has been touted for a switch to the Premier League but his current boss is unwilling to consider a deal

Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick "hopes" Thiago Alcantara will stay with the Bundesliga champions amid speculation linking him with a move to recently crowned Premier League winners Liverpool.

The Spanish international midfielder has been regularly touted for a move to Liverpool, as Reds boss Jurgen Klopp looks to strengthen his side this summer in an attempt to retain their first English league title for 30 years in 2020-21.

Speaking ahead of Bayern's DFB-Pokal final clash with Bayer Leverkusen this weekend, Flick stressed Thiago's importance to his side and seemed unwilling to consider any deal.

He said of the possible departure of Thiago: "I hope he won't go."

Thiago missed most of the Bundesliga restart following the coronavirus-enforced hiatus due to surgery on a groin injury, his most recent appearance for Bayern - against Sunday's opponents Leverkusen - ending after just 16 minutes as he limped off injured.

Flick, however, said the 29-year-old has recovered and is ready to play: "The operation was not that long ago, but everything we had planned was accomplished. He is able to start tomorrow."

This is Flick's first major cup final as a manager, having taken over Bayern earlier this season - initially as interim coach - following the sacking of Niko Kovac.

Flick oversaw a major upswing in Bayern's form which saw them streak away from nearest challengers Borussia Dortmund and clinch yet another Bundesliga title, and he is now preparing for part two of a potential treble, with Munich also on the verge of the Champions League quarter-finals.

The manager is pleased with his side's preparations, saying: "You always prepare for the task at hand. I was very satisfied with the training performance, the quality and intensity were very good. These are basic requirements and provide a certain level of security."

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Flick was accompanied at his pre-match press conference by Bayern captain Manuel Neuer, although neither were willing to comment on new recruit Leroy Sane, who on Friday morning completed his long-awaited transfer from Manchester City .

The coach said his side have prepared especially for the quick counter-attacks of Leverkusen, who have the likes of Kai Havertz in their side and are capable of punishing even the champions of Germany if they are not at their best.

Flick said: "Our team has developed strongly on the defensive, we are better. We have to find the right ways to face the speed of Leverkusen."