LIVERPOOL have reportedly agreed a £27million deal to sign Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich.
The Athletic outline how talks accelerated during the week after the Bundesliga side set a tight deadline to complete the transfer.
Speculation over the move has persisted for many months with Thiago having just a year left on his Bayern contract.
And the Bavarians are said to have pushed for a breakthrough in talks before their season began.
Bayern start the defence of their Bundesliga crown at home to Schalke on Friday night.
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The 29-year-old is set to cost Liverpool £27m once personal terms are finalised.
He will become their second major signing of the transfer window after the Reds spent £11.75m on Greek left-back Kostas Tsimikas.
Manchester United were linked with a late bid for Thiago after deals for Jadon Sancho and Gareth Bale faded.
But the Red Devils will have to look elsewhere as Jurgen Klopp's side look set to add the Champions League winner to their midfield.
Both clubs were criticised by a former Bayern Munich president for the manner they approached the deal – which was likened to "blackmail".
Uli Hoeness told Sport1 earlier in the week: "A while ago we agreed on a new four-year contract.
"Some days later [Thiago] said, 'I'm looking for a new challenge.' Which is totally okay.
"I think he obviously has an agreement with Liverpool or Manchester United or both of them. Now both clubs are bluffing, and no one has contacted Bayern Munich officially.
"From my point of view, that has no style. They're trying to blackmail us, by waiting until the last week, when they're going to make a cheap offer."
Despite Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott pushing for more first-team action, playmaker Thiago was targeted amid rumours over Georginio Wijnaldum's future.
The Dutch midfielder, 29, has just a year left to run on his Liverpool contract and is linked with Barcelona.
Reports earlier in the month suggested a £17.7m move was in the offing, with the player said to be keen on a fresh challenge.
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