The much-anticipated Liverpool midfield overhaul could begin with a Bayern Munich star after a report claimed Jurgen Klopp has requested a deal be made.
Liverpool’s Achilles heel this season has been their under-powered midfield. Injuries have deprived Klopp from fielding Thiago Alcantara for much of the campaign, while Stefan Bajcetic recently confirmed he’ll miss the remainder of the season with an adductor issue.
Beyond that pair, the rest of Liverpool’s midfielders have all performed well below their usual standards this year. Fabinho and Jordan Henderson are perhaps the biggest offenders in that regard.
The Athletic’s James Pearce recently confirmed Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will leave as free agents at season’s end.
Fabrizio Romano claimed James Milner could walk too, though Pearce suggested Klopp is on board with retaining his 37-year-old vice-captain for another 12 months.
Even if Milner does receive a new deal, Arthur Melo’s return to Juventus will bring the midfield exits to three. The Reds will not activate the option to buy in the injury-prone Brazilian’s loan deal.
Clearly, a raft of new additions are required and Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham is the primary target.
Elsewhere, Liverpool have been handed a major boost in their quest to sign Mason Mount after the Chelsea midfielder took a transfer into his own hands with a drastic move.
However, according to a report out of Spain, Bayern Munich’s Ryan Gravenberch may be the first new midfielder through the door.
Gravenberch the first of many?
The 20-year-old moved from Ajax to Bayern for around €24m (approx. £20.5m) last summer.
However, the 6ft 3in Dutchman has found the going tough so far having amassed just a single start in the Bundesliga.
Displacing the likes of Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka in the engine room is proving an uphill struggle. That’s something Marcel Sabitzer experienced first hand, with his inability to crack the code prompting a loan move to Man Utd in January.
German outlet Sport1 previously reported Liverpool are closely following Gravenberch and seemingly believe he has potential that is as yet untapped in Bavaria.
The Reds are understood to have made contact with his representatives and it’s claimed Bayern may be open to a sale despite signing Gravenberch less than one year ago.
Now, the report from Spain (via Goal), adds weight to the speculation. They claim Klopp has put a ‘request’ into Liverpool to bring Gravenberch over to Merseyside.
The outlet speaks of ‘advanced negotiations’, though it’s not clear if that’s their own understanding or whether that’s the impression they’re getting from other outlets.
In any case, a Gravenberch deal certainly looks achievable for Liverpool and while he’d not represent the highest profile of additions, the fact is Liverpool are in urgent need of several new faces and not all can be £100m players.
Gravenberch earned his move to Bayern on the back of stellar campaign in Amsterdam that helped Erik ten Hag lift the Eredivisie in his final season in charge before taking the reins at Man Utd.
Clearly, he’s not become a bad player overnight since joining Bayern.