Despite Jurgen Klopp insisting Liverpool are unlikely to make any more January signings, a report has revealed they are actually planning a bid for a Premier League midfielder.
It is unlikely that any of Liverpool’s current midfielders will be looking at their season so far as a success. Many of them are fighting for their futures due to their age or contract status. They are struggling to meet the appropriate standards, though.
Therefore, an evolution is due – or perhaps overdue – for Liverpool’s midfield. Several players in that position currently could be on their way out in 2023. For example, this year will see Naby Keita, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain reach the end of their contracts.
Arthur Melo should also end his association with Liverpool at that point, when his loan spell from Juventus concludes.
Even if those four players go, Liverpool will still have to work out what to do with some of their other options. Fabinho has been out of form this season, while Thiago Alcantara will be entering the last 12 months of his contract.
Clearly, there could be a void for Liverpool to fill in their midfield if some of these departures go through. But with the way they have been underperforming this season, some feel that Liverpool need to sign a player in that position this month.
Manager Klopp has indicated that any more January signings are unlikely. But further bad results may increase the clamour for them to go into the market.
There are a number of names they could bid for. Indeed, TEAMtalk has taken a look at the 42 midfielders they have been linked with. Forty-two!
One of them is Ruben Neves. A recent report suggested they were preparing to make a bid for the Wolves star.
Now, an update has revealed when they might make their move. According to Football Insider, their interest in Neves is “concrete”. Hence, they will put Wolves’ resolve to the test with a “last-gasp swoop” later in the January transfer window.
The report claims Liverpool are aware that Wolves will be busy focusing on their own signings this month. They have already brought in Matheus Cunha and Mario Lemina, with Joao Gomes and Pablo Sarabia set to follow.
Once their incoming business reaches a conclusion, Wolves might have to fend off interest in Neves. The report does not suggest how much Liverpool are willing to pay for him.
But with Neves’ contract up in 2024 and his market value declining, there is a suggestion that his current club might have to start listening to offers.
Wolves want to keep Ruben Neves
However, a separate report from 90min indicates that Wolves have not given up in their attempts to keep Neves until the end of the season at least.
90min adds Newcastle, Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester United and Barcelona to Neves’ long list of admirers, as well as Liverpool.
Yet Wolves will try their best to retain the services of the Portugal international.
By the end of the month, though, it appears Liverpool could be giving them something to think about.
With Luis Diaz last year and Cody Gakpo this month, Liverpool have sometimes accelerated their transfer plans if they sense other clubs are ready to sign them instead. Perhaps that is why the in-demand Neves hasn’t been ruled out for a winter move.
Liverpool, though, will need to ensure they have enough transfer funds left over for the 25-year-old.
If they can fund a deal, Neves would be an upgrade on some of their current options. He has impressed in his four-and-a-half seasons in the Premier League after being part of the Wolves squad that won promotion from the Championship in 2018.
As a former Porto player, he has also experienced European football. Therefore, Neves has plenty of attributes, both technical and personal, that should appeal.
In theory, he could transform Liverpool’s midfield – or at least play his part in the first phase of that process.
For now, though, he remains with Wolves, for whom he has played 235 times in all competitions, including 23 appearances this season.