Liverpool consider second approach for midfield target that Klopp loves, but fee of £70m may be required

Kim Min-jae, Piotr Zielinski, Napoli celebrate a goal during Serie A game v Monza at Diego Maradona Stadium

Napoli midfielder Piotr Zielinski, who Jurgen Klopp is a big fan of, is being linked with a move to Liverpool next season, according to reports.

The 28-year-old spent two seasons on loan at Empoli from Udinese, before penning a permanent deal with Napoli in 2016, where he has been a resounding success.

The Reds were also battling for his signature at the time, so this represents another chance for Klopp to get his man, as he eyes midfield reinforcements.

This is according to Italian outlet Il Mattinowho claim that Zielinski could join a Premier League club if Napoli fails to tie him down to a new deal.

The Pole’s current contract is set to expire in June 2024. He currently earns €3.5m per year, with his current salary allegedly ‘too important’ (or expensive) when considering the wage structure set by Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis in recent months. 

As a result, his future is currently in the balance.

But, Il Mattino also add that Zielinski could be willing to take a wage cut to remain with the Italian giants, who are currently 13 points clear at the top of the Serie A.

This season, the Poland international has scored three goals and made six assists in 21 league appearances for Napoli.

As mentioned, it is no secret that Klopp is looking to bolster his midfield for next season, so the interest in Zielinski is unsurprising.

Liverpool target Zielinski to revamp midfield options

When Liverpool were beaten 4-1 by Napoli in the Champions League back in September, the German coach described the midfielder as a ‘great player’ after he netted an impressive brace.

With that in mind, it wouldn’t be a shock to see the Reds move for him in the summer, while they are also looking at several other targets.

The most well-documented is that of Jude Bellingham, who is one of the hottest properties in Europe at the moment.

Liverpool are thought to be firmly in the race for his signature, but interest from Manchester City may scupper their plans.

A new centre-mid is essential for the Reds though, as it looks like Naby Keita will leave the club at the end of the season.

The likes of Fabinho, Thiago, James Milner and Jordan Henderson are also all over the age of 30, so Liverpool need more long-term, quality options.

Harvey Elliot certainly fits that description, but he is not yet the finished article.

However, with Napoli almost certainly set to compete in the Champions League next season, something that is unlikely to be possible for Liverpool, it could prove difficult to prise Zielinski away from the Deigo Maradona Stadium.

According to reports, the Reds may have to pay up to £70m to convince Napoli to sell their midfielder, which is indeed a hefty transfer fee.

But, a midfield combination of Zielinski and Bellingham is a mouth-watering prospect, so it will be interesting to see how this story develops in the coming months.

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