Liverpool

Liverpool

Premier League • England

Liverpool transfer news: Luka Sucic a firm Bellingham alternative as Reds tempted by ‘elite’ potential

Luka Sucic, Thomas Delaney Sevilla v RB Salzburg September 2021

Liverpool have eyes on RB Salzburg midfielder Luka Sucic as a transfer alternative to Jude Bellingham, according to a report.

The Reds have made three signings this summer, but they do not look likely to add any more before the window closes. Darwin Nunez has come in as Sadio Mane’s replacement, while Calvin Ramsay is the new deputy right-back.

In midfield, Fabio Carvalho is an exciting prospect but it remains unclear how impactful the 19-year-old can be next season.

Indeed, some in the Anfield fanbase have called for a more experienced midfield signing. Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham, the England international who turns 19 on Wednesday, may be younger than Carvalho but has already established himself as a potentially generational talent.

Liverpool have therefore made him a firm target for the summer of 2023. They are aware that Dortmund do not want to sell both him and Erling Haaland in the same transfer window. However, Goal reports that Reds chiefs realise Bellingham’s current price tag of around £100million may increase next season.

As a result, the report adds that Salzburg’s Croatian midfielder Sucic is on Liverpool’s shortlist of alternatives.

Reports in April initially mentioned the Anfield club’s interest in the 19-year-old.

But Goal now adds more information, claiming Liverpool see Sucic as a ‘potentially-elite prospect’. He would also be more easily attainable than Bellingham.

Not only would his transfer fee and wages be much lower, but the Red Bull football stable and Liverpool have a strong working relationship.

The Reds signed Takumi Minaimino – who has now left for Monaco – from Salzburg in January 2020. Meanwhile, Ibrahima Konate and Naby Keita moved to Anfield from RB Leipzig.

Mane, who has moved to Bayern Munich, was a target for Jurgen Klopp while at Salzburg when the German was managing Dortmund.

Luka Sucic in profile

Sucic moved to Salzburg from FC Liefering in August 2020. After playing a bit-part first-team role in his debut season, he flourished in the 2021/22 campaign.

Sucic played 44 times, scoring 11 goals and assisting five others. He also played all eight of Salzburg’s Champions League games as they reached the last 16.

Overall, he has played 70 times for his current employers and his recent rise has seen him briefly emerge on the international stage.

After making his Croatia debut in October last year, he made two more substitute appearances in the recent Nations League matches.

Liverpool need new signing

Whoever comes in next summer, Liverpool need to address what is a growing problem in their midfield.

Klopp now has eight options in his engine room, but five are aged 27 or over.

What’s more, there is immediate uncertainty over at least three of those. James Milner has recently signed a one-year contract extension and is likely to move on next summer.

Liverpool need to solve glaring problem after Nunez deal

Liverpool have bolstered their front line with Darwin Nunez, but midfield is another urgent priority for Jurgen Klopp to sort out.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will likely follow him out as a free agent, unless Liverpool sell the 28-year-old this summer instead.

Finally, Naby Keita is also into the final year of his deal like Oxlade-Chamberlain. While he could get a new contract, he has largely struggled for fitness and rhythm aside from last season.