Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Liverpool are back in the hunt for a midfield signing this month – and they could wreck Nottingham Forest’s plans for Houssem Aouar, with the Lyon star one of four names linked with the Reds.
The Merseysiders went into the new season seemingly content with their transfer business. Liverpool broke their club record to snare Darwin Nunez in a deal that could top £85m. They also safeguarded their future with deals for Calvin Ramsay and Fabio Carvalho.
The one area Liverpool decided to overlook was their midfield. That was expected to be their prime area to strengthen this summer. However, after seeing efforts to prise Aurelien Tchouameni fail, the trail has since gone quiet. Tchouameni has since revealed why he rejected Liverpool’s advances in favour of Real Madrid.
Liverpool have been linked with Jude Bellingham, Dortmund’s young England midfielder. However, there is a wide expectation that Dortmund – who only sanction one major sale per summer – will not do business this year.
A summer 2023 swoop for Bellingham looks to be on the cards though with Liverpool already reportedly putting in the groundwork.
That does little to help Liverpool for now, though. And Klopp was adamant earlier this summer that his options were well covered.
In a passionate explanation in July, Klopp was adamant he was happy with his options.
“We can go through it. Where do you want to start? So, Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago, Milner, Keita, Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, Fabio Carvalho, Oxlade-Chamberlain. Now you tell me what kind of player are we missing? One who is offensive, 1.95m and arrives into the box to head balls in? OK, apart from that!
“We have three players in the squad who can easily play as a No.6 – Fabinho, of course, but Hendo and Milly played it fine.”
Klopp makes Liverpool admission with Houssem Aouar among targets
However, with Liverpool suffering injuries to a number of key players, Klopp has now done a U-turn. With four of his midfielders currently sidelined, Klopp’s options were seriously depleted in Monday’s loss at Manchester United.
As such, the Reds boss now admits Liverpool are actively pursuing a new midfield signing before the window closes.
“You were all right and I was wrong” as he revealed he desperately wants a new signing in the area. And when asked if he wants someone in before the window closes on Thursday at 11pm, he admitted: “That changed of course.
“I know we have had this discussion since it all started and I am the one who said we don’t need a midfielder and you were all right and I was wrong.
“That’s the situation. There is really nothing more to say about it. We are looking for it, and if it is the right player we need him and if it is not the right player we don’t need him.”
Per the Daily Mirror, Liverpool seemingly have four potential targets in mind before the window shuts.
They remain on the trail of Bellingham and could try again to convince Dortmund to sell.
However, other names are reportedly in the frame too. And they could look to snare former target Aouar from Lyon, amid claims they are looking to sell.
He’s been linked with a move to Nottingham Forest, though a move to Anfield would clearly hold more appeal.
Moises Caicedo of Brighton is another name in the frame, with the Reds linked with moves for him this week.
And there remains possible interest in Netherlands star Frenkie de Jong, whose future at Barcelona remains uncertain.
Carragher admits Liverpool need a new midfielder
PSG’s Leandro Parades has also been mentioned as a target. However, at 28, the Mirror claims he may be too old.
Of all the options, perhaps it is Houssem Aouar who appears most obtainable. With just a year left on his deal, Lyon are seemingly seeking just £12.5m (€15m) to let him leave – a fair price given his talent and age.
That sort of fee would not break the bank for the Reds and this is one signing that would make a lot of sense. Indeed, he was first mentioned as a Liverpool target some years ago.
Jamie Carragher has also made it clear that Liverpool need a new midfield signing.
“Jurgen Klopp is not daft,” Carragher said. “He knows that when he looks at his first-choice midfield of Thiago, Fabinho and Jordan Henderson, it’s a really good midfield, but they are all over 30. That is not ideal for any team, certainly when you want to play as intense as Liverpool do.
“They do have lots of numbers there. Milner can come in there, and there’s Keita and Curtis Jones, but if you are talking about real top quality, Liverpool need a midfield player. If he was available now, Liverpool would buy him, but they’ve obviously got something maybe lined up for next summer.”