Liverpool linked to Man Utd cast-off with two free agent signings tipped to empower late-season charge
Liverpool failed to address their biggest issue in January, though a report has touted the possibility of two potential free agent signings – including one snubbed by Man Utd – who could remedy the issue.
Midfield has unquestionably been Liverpool’s problem position this year. Jurgen Klopp has reluctantly admitted as much, though surprisingly, the Reds did not dip into the market.
They did move for Cody Gakpo, thus indicating they had some money to spend. However, the Dutchman plays in the front three and will do little to resolve the bigger issue.
Liverpool were once the most difficult team to play against in the Premier League. However, many of their trusted options are either aging or off-form. The end result has seen Liverpool cut through at will and their high defensive line repeatedly exposed.
Klopp is a known exponent of the belief Liverpool should only move for the right players, not just any old option in the market.
That policy served Liverpool well in the past when made to wait six months to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton.
The Reds are the frontrunners for Jude Bellingham in the summer as they again show patience in the market. However, inaction last month may resign Liverpool to finishing well outside of the top four.
However, despite the winter window officially closing, certain signings can still be made.
READ MORE: Nine January transfers you might have missed: Kagawa, Shoretire, Thauvin…
Liverpool could turn to free agents?
Free agents can be picked up at any stage throughout the year and the Liverpool Echo highlight two names who could do a job for Liverpool in the here and now.
Firstly, the outlet cite former Real Madrid star Isco as a viable candidate.
The 30-year-old is a free agent after seeing his contract with Sevilla terminated in December.
He had been lined up by Bundesliga side Union Berlin in January and a medical was passed. However, Union Berlin called off the move in the eleventh hour due to Isco apparently upping his demands.
A cryptic club statement read: “We wanted to have Isco in Berlin, but we have our limits.
“These were exceeded today – contrary to the previous agreement.”
Isco was subsequently among four high profile stars offered to Man Utd once Christian Eriksen was ruled out for three months.
However, Erik ten Hag snubbed the opportunity, instead moving for Marcel Sabitzer after seeing a move for Ryan Gravenberch blocked by Bayern.
The second player in the Echo’s report is former Ajax star, Zakaria Labyad.
The Moroccan, 29, has been without a club since leaving Amsterdam at the end of last season. He may be a faimilar face to some English readers through his brief and unsuccessful loan stint with Fulham back in 2016.
Both Isco and Labyad are attack-minded players, meaning if anything, they’d be viewed as back-ups to Thiago Alcantara if deployed in midfield.
It’s important to note the Echo’s report is purely speculative and names these two players simply because they’re both capable of playing in midfield and are readily available.
A move could be explored, though given their emergency loan for Arthur Melo has been an unmitigated failure, the Reds may be once bitten and twice shy.
EURO PAPER TALK: Man Utd gifted glorious chance to sign Barcelona attacker with two Ten Hag favourites impacted; Tottenham open summer talks over Napoli star