Liverpool gifted answer to midfield woes after LaLiga side give green light and slash price of Argentine’s transfer
Real Betis are open to selling a Liverpool midfield target and have slashed their asking price, though Everton could have a say in any January transfer, per reports.
Liverpool’s midfield issues have been laid bare for all to see this season. Jordan Henderson isn’t performing to the levels we’re accustomed to seeing, while Thiago Alcantara came in for stinging criticism on Monday Night Football.
Fabinho has been axed from the starting eleven in each of Liverpool’s last two matches. The Brazilian’s role of shielding the back four is vital to Jurgen Klopp’s system, though he’s looked well off the pace in the season’s early going.
Elsewhere, summer recruit Arthur Melo has undergone surgery and won’t play another match in 2023.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and James Milner – who are all frequently injured – are all out of contract next summer.
Clearly, Liverpool’s midfield is in desperate need of far more than just one new signing next year.
Jude Bellingham is their primary target, but signing him alone won’t avert the midfield crisis.
What’s more, it’s unlikely he’ll be available in January and if Liverpool don’t improve in the second half of the season and secure UCL qualification, Bellingham might not sign anyway.
As such, a January addition may be the order of the day. Recent reports out of Spain put Liverpool in the mix to sign Real Betis’ Guido Rodriguez.
The 28-year-old Argentina international would represent a readymade fit for Klopp’s midfield. He can play at the base of a midfield three or either side in a box-to-box role.
Betis open to selling – and drop price
Rodriguez also counts Everton among his admirers, but a fresh report from Spain makes good reading for Liverpool.
Via Goal, it’s claimed Betis are open to cashing in on Rodriguez in January. What’s more, it’s stated their €30m (approx. £26.5m) valuation has been reduced.
Just €25m (approx. £22m), could reportedly get the job done. That’s despite Rodriguez’s former club America due a percentage of the deal through a sell-on clause.
Rodriguez’s deal at Betis expires in the summer of 2024. The fact he’s entered the final two years of his deal may be a factor in his reduced valuation.
Is Guido Rodriguez the answer for Liverpool?
Liverpool’s defence have courted headlines this season, though Klopp has repeatedly pointed the finger of blame at his midfield.
Liverpool’s high line is not a new concept. The reason it’s been so infrequently exposed in the past is due to opposition ball carriers having little time to exploit it.
The drop off in intensity in Liverpool’s press has given opposing players time and space to pick out a pass. When once they’d harmlessly boot the ball up field to escape pressure, now they have time to measure a defence-splitting pass.
Klopp needs legs in his midfield and Rodriguez is known his his stellar defensive workrate. He’d be a signing in the same mould as Arthur, though obviously without the lack of match fitness and injuries.
Klopp has repeatedly stated Liverpool were and are interested in signing new midfielders. However, they’ll only strike for the right player, not any player.
Whether Rodriguez fits that billing is open to debate. Liverpool fans on the pessimistic side of life wouldn’t be surprised if owners FSG wait until the summer before opening the chequebook.
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