Liverpool are keeping a close watch on Franck Kessie and one other potential midfield signing in January with Jurgen Klopp considering two transfer bargains, claims a trusted source.
The Reds underlined their incredible strength this week when a much-changed line-up secured a 2-1 win at AC Milan. The result ensures Liverpool became the first English side to win all six group games in the Champions League. However, Klopp is not a manager to sit still and he’s already seemingly planning his next transfer assault.
Indeed, it’s no secret the Reds would like to add a new midfielder to their ranks.
They allowed Georgino Wijnaldum to depart as a free agent last summer, while veteran schemer James Milner is not getting any younger. Furthermore, doubts continue to emerge on where Naby Keita fits into Liverpool’s midfield system.
To that end, they are being linked once again with a summer swoop for Leeds’ Kalvin Phillips.
However, the England man – contracted to 2024 at Elland Road – would likely command a fee in excess of £60m.
Instead, Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano claims Klopp and Co have their eyes on two cheaper alternatives.
Indeed, speaking to Empire of the Kop, the trusted source says both Franck Kessie and Denis Zakaria are being strongly considered.
Both players fall out of contract next summer, meaning prospective bargain swoops may be on the cards.
Zakara wanted by Liverpool
Liverpool got a close-hand view of Kessie on Tuesday night at the San Siro too – and Romano has confirmed the Reds are keen.
However, it seems Zakaria is the one they are closest to, with Borussia Monchengladbach looking to offload.
“He is a player that has interest from many, many clubs. It’s an absolutely open situation,” Romano said.
“We have to see if these clubs want to jump in this deal in January. Do they try to pay the compensation to Monchengladbach and try to sign the player immediately? Or do they wait until June to sign him as a free agent, because, for example, Juventus are interested.
“But also from other countries, many clubs are moving from Germany and Spain. So it’s not an easy deal but many club are keeping tabs on this boy.”
Romano says he expects Zakaria to be on the move in January too.
“He recently changed his agent and this is why I would keep an eye on Zakaria [for a January move],” he added.
“He’s a name that I can’t tell you is negotiating with Liverpool. But I am sure that Liverpool are keeping an eye on these kinds of opportunities.”
Franck Kessie interest from Liverpool
Kessie’s deal also expires in the summer, though Milan seem more reluctant to sell in the winter window.
He’s already rejected Milan’s proposals to stay – and Romano says negotiations are ongoing.
“For Frank Kessie, I think it’s going to be a bit more complicated because of what he’s asking for the salary.
“AC Milan offered him €6.5m net per season as a salary and he said no – he wants around €8-9m net per season.
“I guess if he’s going to leave AC Milan as a free agent, he wants more than €8m net per season. It’s a lot of money.
“I think Liverpool want to go in a different way for salaries too and I think they’re taking a good decision on this.
“Sometimes with salary, football is getting crazy and clubs are having problems – see what happened with Barcelona and many other clubs.”