Liverpool will reportedly be back in the running to sign Konrad Laimer when the January transfer window opens with Jurgen Klopp attracted by a dramatic price drop on the RB Leipzig star’s head.
The Reds will need midfield reinforcements going ahead and that is likely to be their main focus in 2023. With James Milner – 37 in January – probably in his last season at Anfield, both Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will also likely leave on free transfers. But that’s not all, with Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara on the wrong side of 30, the pair are both seemingly more prone to injuries.
As such, Julian Ward is being tasked with signing at least two, and possibly three new faces there in 2023. Liverpool partially alleviated the pressure on their midfield on deadline day with the loan capture of Arthur Melo.
However, reports claim he was only Jurgen Klopp’s fourth choice. Furthermore, reports also claim the Brazilian’s deal could be cut short at the first opportunity.
Whether Arthur remains at the long term remains to be seen. And in the meantime, Liverpool can assess the player’s standards before committing to any long-term arrangement.
Furthermore, the Reds are also seemingly making plans to strengthen with other midfield signings. Top of their wanted list remains Jude Bellingham of Borussia Dortmund. Any deal for the teenager would likely shatter their record, while reports suggest a Uruguayan star could also set a record high mark at Anfield.
Another man strongly linked with the Reds, though, is Laimer. The Austrian star was subject of an enquiry from Liverpool late in the summer window.
And while RB Leipzig did not want to sell at that time, they appear powerless to prevent his 2023 departure.
Konrad Laimer price drop
A summer deal for Laimer might have set Liverpool back around £35m – £40m. But with his contract due to expire in June 2023, Leipzig may be willing to let him leave for a cut-price fee in January.
Indeed, reports suggest the Bundesliga side may be seeking a mere £25m for Laimer’s transfer in January. That is a fee well within their reach and a move that transfer expert Dean Jones believes they could make.
He also thinks any deal for Laimer would not impact their possible signing of Arthur. And his signing would also give Liverpool a potential updgrade in their midfield on the disappointing Keita.
“I think they are different types of targets,” Jones told GiveMeSport. “Arthur was a late loan to fill a hole, whereas Laimer would be a permanent signing who comes into the long-term thinking of the club. He still might be one they look to again.”
Laimer has registered 11 goals and 18 assists from 167 appearances for Leipzig. And while not exactly prolific, it is not what his game is known for.
A complete midfield, Laimer is regarded as one of the Bundesliga’s best and something of a pressing machine. To that end, he’s someone who would fit in perfectly in Klopp’s engine room.
Laimer and Naby Keita may trade places
Indeed, it’s not a stretch of the imagination to see Konrad Laimer and Keita trading places. RB Leipzig illustrated this summer that they are open to bringing back their stars of yesteryear by re-signing Timo Werner.
And it would surprise no-one were Keita to wind his way back to Red Bull Arena. It was there where the Guinean played the best football of his career.
That prompted a lengthy chase by Klopp and Liverpool, before a £52m deal was struck. He arrived at Anfield with a big reputation. And when he took the much-coveted No 8 shirt, as worn previously by Steven Gerrard, much was expected.
Yet Keita has never hit the heights at Anfield. Disrupted by a string of niggling injuries, he has made just 117 appearances in four and a bit seasons at Liverpool.
As such, a free transfer away next summer awaits. And Keita will not be missed with the player one of their few big-money flops in recent years.
Liverpool don’t often get thir big signings wrong, but sadly Keita is one of them.
And perhaps even a straight swap deal in January could be arranged? With both players entering their final six months, may be this is a deal that could suit all parties.