Premier League • England

Jurgen Klopp open to shock U-turn over departing Liverpool pair as three-man transfer target list is revealed

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and midfielder Naby Keita

TEAMtalk can confirm the three midfielders Liverpool firmly have in their sights this season – and can also reveal Jurgen Klopp is warming to the idea of a major U-turn over the futures of two players expected to leave Anfield in 2023.

The Reds have kicked off their January transfer business by landing Cody Gakpo in a deal that could top £45m. The forward arrives from PSV after Klopp stole in to snatch him from under Manchester United’s noses.

However, Klopp’s major transfer wish in 2023 is to strengthen his ageing midfield. Too often this season they have been overrun with the home defeat to Leeds and the recent loss at Brentford exposing their weaknesses. Indeed, after surveying the wreckage of their loss to the Bees, Jamie Carragher claimed the Reds “no longer look like a Jurgen Klopp side“.

As such, Liverpool’s need to freshen up their engine room has never been more apparent. James Milner turned 37 this week and may be in his final months of a glittering career on Merseyside.

In addition, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain both become free agents on July 1 and are eligible to depart. Furthermore, neother Jordan Henderson or Thiago Alcantara are getting any younger, with the pair both succumbing to injuries this season.

As such, our transfer expert Graeme Bailey has run the rule over Liverpool’s plans this year. And he can confirm the three names that Klopp is looking at as potential options.

Liverpool like look of Sofyan Amrabat, Moises Caicedo

“There’s no getting away from the fact that Liverpool need to sort their midfield out, and they know it,” he told TEAMtalk.

“In terms of this month they have been keen to bring someone in, and Fiorentina’s Sofyan Amrabat is a player that Klopp is a huge fan of.

“His performance at the World Cup finals was exceptional, but that has meant that his value is firm and Fiorentina don’t look like they will be persuaded into a loan deal with options – something which they were willing to do last year.”

“There is also someone like Moises Caicedo, the Brighton star. He has a lot of Premier League interest and Liverpool are one of those. However, to land him this January is going to be very tough. Brighton will be asking at least £50m, but I believe in excess of £60m.”

Klopp interest in signing Jude Bellingham is also extremely well documented. However, as Bailey testifies, that remains a tough one for Liverpool to pull off despite claims some senior Liverpool stars are working on convincing him to move to Anfield.

Bailey continued: “The elephant in the room whenever you talk Liverpool and midfielders, if you like, is obviously Jude Bellingham. We know they love, we know they want him – but we also know that a deal is not done yet. Far from it!

“And whilst there is confidence at Anfield that they could land him, they also know the player has options with Real Madrid and Manchester City also desperate to secure his signature. It’s also not a guarantee that he will actually leave [Dortmund] this year.”

Klopp open to Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain stays

With so many transfer scenarious in flux for Liverpool, we can also reveal a potential changing of the landscape over two existing stars.

And while both Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain have suffered badly from injuries at Anfield, Klopp is refusing to rule out a huge U-turn.

Indeed, both have spent lengthy spells on the sidelines already this season. However, both appear to be nearing full fitness and both players have featured in recent weeks.

Keita now has five Premier League appearances under his belt this season. Oxlade-Chamberlain, meanwhile, has eight appearances this season and scored their goal in the recent defeat at Brentford.

Now Bailey can reveal that Klopp is open to the idea of both or either signing new deals.

“When it comes to Liverpool’s midfield, the revolution could very well come within. And those players who currently look like departing are Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita. Both fall out of contract on July 1.

“As it stands, both are due to leave, but I believe that Klopp would be open to them staying now both are involved again.

“All in all, there are  many decisions for Klopp to make, but so many big decisions for Liverpool!”

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