Liverpool have been given a major leg-up in their pursuit of Konrad Laimer amid a significant transfer hint from the impressive RB Leipzig midfielder and amid claims a January deal is inching closer.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have had issues throughout the season in the middle of the park. The likes of Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara, Curtis Jones, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita have all suffered with injuries this season. And that has contributed towards an indifferent start to the season by the Reds.
Indeed, during their 4-1 Champions League thumping by Napoli, they fielded an untested triumverate. That saw Fabinho alongside Harvey Elliott and James Milner – with Liverpool overrun in the middle of the park and fortunate not to lose by more.
With injuries biting hard, it was little surprise to see Klopp make a deadline-day move to sign Arthur Melo. Signing on loan, Liverpool have the option to make his signing a permanent £32.3m move next summer. However, if reports are accurate, the chances of that happening already appear slim.
Indeed, he has been dogged by plenty of troublesome rumours ever since signing. Firstly, came the claim that Arthur was only Klopp’s first-choice signing on deadline day.
Since then, it’s also been suggested that Liverpool will look to terminate the loan deal at the first available opportunity. And while Fabrizio Romano denies that is the case, Arthur seemingly has his work cut out at Anfield.
Long term, though, Liverpool will have to prioritise new midfield additions. Both Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain are one of five Reds stars who are currently eligible to leave Anfield as a free agent next summer.
Milner too will also be 37 in January. And while he continues to defy logic over his form and fitness, there’s a growing sense this will be his last season at Liverpool.
Konrad Laimer opens up on Liverpool transfer possibilities
Further down the line, both Henderson and Thiago are on the wrong side of 30. Injuries to both in recent times suggests time may be catching up with them sooner than anticipated.
As such, Liverpool are linked with a string of potential new signings, with Jude Bellingham featuring very high on their list.
Any deal for the Dortmund man may set Liverpool back a club-record fee, though details have emerged how Bellingham could be signed for as little as £83m.
Before signing Bellingham, however, the Reds could turn to the Bundesliga again, this time for Laimer.
Out of contract in the summer, he looks likely to be sold for a cut-price £25m in January.
He was the subject of Liverpool interest in the summer. Now the player, speaking to Servus TV, has opened up over that failure. But rather than closing the door on a switch to Anfield, Laimer has seemingly left it seriously wide open with a huge admission.
“In the end, I would have been ready to take a new step. It didn’t happen because the go-ahead from Leipzig didn’t come,” Laimer recalls about summer speculation linking him with Liverpool.
“They quickly said: ‘No, that’s not possible’. On the one hand, that’s nice because (it shows) you’re an important player. But it’s also difficult because a lot of discussions have been held. You’ve thought a lot (about leaving), reflected a lot.”
Dropping a massive hint on a move to Anfield he continued: “I’ve been in Leipzig for five years and I feel good. Now, it will be a year longer and then we will see what happens. I generally like watching the Premier League. I’ve always been a Liverpool fan.”
Laimer would fit in perfectly with Klopp’s Liverpool
The Austrian is one of the most complete midfielders in the Bundesliga. And he seemingly has the game extremely well suited to Klopp’s style at Liverpool. A hard worker, tidy in possession and with a huge engine, he appears to tick all the boxes for Liverpool.
Indeed, a parting of ways for Laimer and Leipzig does look certain in 2023. Per Bild, the player has rejected repeated offers to extend his contract at the Red Bull Arena.
And while Liverpool could sign him on a pre-contract agreement in January, there is a growing feeling that a January deal could come to fruition.
Leipzig are reportedly looking to receive around £25m for a star they would normally value at around £40m. However, even that price appears optimistic and sporting director is likely to offer nearer the £15m – £20m mark.
That seems like a big price to pay when the Reds could potentially land him for free six months later. However, were they to wait, they run the risk of either Manchester United or Bayern Munich beating them to the punch for Laimer.
And his arrival mid-season could seriously benefit a Liverpool side, who will still be hoping to be in the running for all four trophies again by the new year.