Premier League • England

Liverpool in sensational transfer twist as top Champions League ace reveals love for Reds and Prem ambitions

Josko Gvardiol and Neymar

Liverpool could be the best-placed club to sign a hugely talented star after he spoke about his love for the Reds and how he used to watch them when he was young.

Due to Liverpool’s illustrious history, many top players around the world grow up watching and supporting them. This includes Belgium ace Kevin de Bruyne, who currently plays for Liverpool’s Premier League rivals Manchester City.

Back in 2019, De Bruyne said: “I was a Liverpool fan. My family that live in England were all Liverpool supporters so I was, too. I loved Michael Owen, because I was really small like him and quick, too – I compared myself to him at the time. I liked [Zinedine] Zidane and Ronaldinho too – those really skilful players.”

And De Bruyne is not the only City hero who liked Liverpool as a boy. In 2018, City’s all-time record goalscorer Sergio Aguero declared: “When I was a boy I liked Liverpool FC because I played for Independiente and the team colours were red as well.”

He joined De Bruyne in being a big fan of one player in particular, too. “At that time I was inspired by Michael Owen,” Aguero added.

De Bruyne and Aguero have been followed by RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol in admitting their support for Liverpool. During an interview with Croatian TV programme RTL Danas (via journalist Ben Jacobs), Gvardiol has spoken about how Liverpool ‘remains in my heart’.

When asked which club he wanted to play for as a child, the centre-back replied: “That would definitely be Liverpool. Since I was little, I watched a lot of Liverpool matches with my dad and we covered every season in detail. It is a club that has remained in my heart.”

It is a stunning turn of events given what Leipzig sporting director Max Eberl said on Friday. The chief tried to quash all rumours of Gvardiol leaving for a Premier League side, saying: “Thanks to the contract extension with Josko, we are in control. The club has done an outstanding job.

“Football has gone crazy, but our interest is zero that we want to sell Josko Gvardiol in the summer.”

Josko Gvardiol admission could result in Liverpool swoop

But Gvardiol’s comments could convince Liverpool to at least try their luck and submit a big-money bid for him at the end of the season. After all, Jurgen Klopp could probably do with a new centre-half given the fact Joel Matip and Virgil Van Dijk are both 31, while the latter is recovering from a hamstring injury as well.

During the interview, Gvardiol did admit that he is not trying to leave Leipzig in the near future. “I’m not in a hurry,” he continued. “I’m at Leipzig and we still have six months to finish the season and to win something. And then we will look further to the future.”

While a move to Anfield is unlikely to go through this year, it could happen in a future campaign due to how much Gvardiol wants to shine in the Prem and for Liverpool in particular.

The Croatia international has also been the subject of interest from Chelsea. They made a £77million bid for him in summer 2022, only for Leipzig to reject it.

On the Chelsea links, Gvardiol added: “Last summer a transfer was close and they simply kept me. I hope to spend these six months with them [Leipzig]. Chelsea did not give up, but it was agreed that we would go for the winter.

“Winter has come, so we need to see what and how to proceed. But it’s okay, there’s still plenty of time, so we’ll see. Nobody presented anything to me. But I’m not in a hurry, we have time, let them arrange the plan and we’ll see.”

Gvardiol is not the only impressive player who could push for a Liverpool transfer. A Brighton man is also interested in playing under Klopp, according to reports.