Liverpool transfer goes up in smoke with €100m bid not enough to sign star who’ll dominate in England

RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol and Man City striker Erling Haaland

A trusted German source has quashed any hope of Liverpool, Chelsea or Man City signing a dominant star this summer, though the situation may change 12 months later.

The arrivals at Anfield this summer are expected to centre around revamping a sub-par midfield. However, with the futures of Joel Matip, Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams all uncertain, an addition at centre-half may also be required.

Fabrizio Romano stressed a centre-back signing is one to watch at Liverpool this summer. To that end, RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol has repeatedly been linked with a move to Merseyside and the Reds have regularly been labelled favourites.

The 21-year-old Croatian is already among the world’s best centre-backs. His transfer value reflects that, with a mammoth €110m (approx. £96.5m) release clause inserted into Gvardiol’s contract after he penned fresh terms in September.

The clause becomes active at the end of the 2023/24 campaign. However, Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea and Real Madrid have all been mentioned alongside trying their luck 12 months early.

City’s interest likely stems from the notion Aymeric Laporte could depart this summer. The 28-year-old has fallen down the pecking order this term with Nathan Ake now Pep Guardiola’s preferred left-footer.

Liverpool would view Gvardiol as the long-term successor to Virgil van Dijk at left centre-half.

If signed this summer, he could also allow Van Dijk to switch to the right side of defence and provide Trent Alexander-Arnold with greater back-up than he is accustomed to receiving.

However, according to Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg, Gvardiol will not be leaving Leipzig in 2023.

2023 transfer a dead end

Plettenberg tweeted not even a €100m bid would change Leipzig’s mind, with the Bundesliga club determined to get at least one more season out of their defensive colossus.

However, once 2024 rolls around, the decision may be taken out of their hands once the release clause becomes active.

At that stage, Plettenberg reiterated City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Real will all be in the mix.

That timeline may actually suit Liverpool given a midfield revamp must surely take precedence this summer.

If the Reds are to land the likes of Jude Bellingham, Mason Mount, Matheus Nunes and co. there may be no money left over for Gvardiol this summer anyway.

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