Jurgen Klopp has ‘requested’ a ‘world class reinforcement’ in midfield and Liverpool have refocused their attention on a Real Madrid ace the Reds tried to sign last summer, per reports.
News broke on Wednesday night of Liverpool pulling the plug on their Jude Bellingham chase. Explaining why, both the Telegraph and Fabrizio Romano concurred the growing cost of the move forced Liverpool’s hand.
The club’s decision-makers are understood to be aware a major rebuild is required this summer. Romano claimed additions could come at centre-half and full-back as well as midfield.
As such, Liverpool could not afford to blow the majority of their budget on one player when so many signings are required.
All manner of midfield targets have come back into focus since the Bellingham news broke. Romano insisted Chelsea’s Mason Mount is the top priority.
Elsewhere, Nicolo Barella, Ryan Gravenberch, Conor Gallagher, Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo have all been mentioned by one outlet or another over the last 24 hours. Interest in Wolves’ Matheus Nunes is understood to have cooled.
However, if Liverpool truly want to put their Bellingham disappointment to bed, there’d be no better way than signing the player they sized up before Bellingham.
Aurelien Tchouameni is the man in question, with Liverpool beaten to the punch by Real Madrid last summer.
The Reds did bid for the France destroyer who was of Monaco at the time. However, once Real came calling, Tchouameni’s mind was made up.
“The first club to show interest in me was Liverpool,” Tchouameni previously told Le Parisien (via talkSPORT). “There were discussions, but as soon as Real Madrid entered, my mind was made up.”
“I didn’t hesitate for a second. I told my agent, take me to Real Madrid.”
However, speculation has begun to swirl all is not well with Tchouameni at the Bernabeu.
Real warming to Tchouameni sale?
He’s struggled to displace club legends Toni Kroos and Luka Modric who continue to do the business. What’s more, fellow Frenchman Eduardo Camavinga has been favoured by manager Carlo Ancelotti in the biggest games. There’s also Federico Valverde on the books and that’s before mentioning Real are among the frontrunners for Bellingham.
Goal recently brought news of Real warming to the idea of cashing in on Tchouameni at season’s end. To do so, they’d want at least the €80m they paid Monaco in return.
Now, a fresh update out of Spain (as cited by Caught Offside), has added fuel to the fire.
It’s claimed Klopp has ‘requested a world-class reinforcement’ and the one ‘chosen’ by both the German and Liverpool’s decision-makers is Tchouameni.
Real would ideally like to achieve a €10m profit on the player, meaning Liverpool would have to stump up €90m (approx. £79.3m). However, that is still a whopping £50m below the figures being quoted for Bellingham and may be more manageable for the Reds.
Ancelotti is reportedly souring on the idea of Tchouameni being a viable successor to the likes of Kroos or Modric. Those doubts are believed to be emboldening Liverpool to have a second bite of the cherry for a player who looks tailor-made for a Klopp midfield.
Indeed, the Reds are at their best under Klopp when fielding three all-action, energetic and selfless midfielders. Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and co. can never be accused of being selfish, though whether they now have the stamina and legs to cut it in Liverpool’s midfield is open to debate.
At 23, there’d be no such issues for Tchouameni who made his name at Monaco by being an attacker’s worst nightmare. Successful tackles, a willingness to press and interceptions are synonymous with his game.
Whether Real do ultimately sanction a sale remains to be seen. While it’s true to say Tchouameni hasn’t hit the ground running in Spain, Modric and Kroos at ages 37 and 33 respectively cannot go on forever.
One way in which a deal could be accelerated is if Real are the ones to prise Bellingham away from Dortmund.
Space and funds would need to be cleared in order to pull off that move and Tchouameni to Liverpool would benefit all involved.