Liverpool are growing increasingly hopeful of finding an immediate solution to their midfield shortfall with a deal edging ever closer to sign Konrad Laimer.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have looked desperately short in the midfield areas this season. The ease at which Leeds United ran through their engine room on Saturday raised so many questions – and Klopp under severe pressure.
Indeed, back-to-back Premier League defeats leave the Reds nearer the relegation zone than the top of the table. As a result, reports that Klopp could be facing the axe have heightened with a new favourite to succeed him emerging.
The German, though, is refusing to buckle under the strain. And as the Reds look to build on their midweek success over Napoli, Klopp insists he still has the fight and hunger to turn the tide around for Liverpool. It’s easy to see why Liverpool feature in this Champions League winners and losers article.
Truth be told, there were plenty who saw their midfield issues coming this season. With Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara both the wrong side of 30, the pair have both been sidelined at various times this season.
And with Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain barely featuring, Klopp has had to rely on teenager Harvey Elliott far more than expected.
With Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain also nearing the end of their deals and able to depart on frees in 2023, Liverpool are well aware of their need to strengthen their midfield options. As such, at least two midfield signings are top of Klopp’s agenda heading into the next two transfer windows.
Konrad Laimer open to Liverpool move
Top of Liverpool’s wanted list is Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham. The teeenager, though, is a player in huge demand with his fee likely to top £130m. Regardless, Liverpool have seemingly made a decision over whether to pursue his signature.
Another star who features strongly on their wanted list is Laimer.
The Austrian star falls out of contract at RB Leipzig in summer 2023 and has a big admirer in Klopp. He was the subject of a failed approach from the Reds on summer deadline day 2022.
RB Leipzig, though, were adamant he would not be allowed to leave.
But with his deal due to expire in just nine months time, Laimer is eligible to sign a pre-contract agreement with overseas suitors from January 1.
Bayern Munich are among those keen – but the Bosman ruling means they would not able to make an official approach until his deal expires.
That would seemingly hand Liverpool the transfer advantage and now 90min report that the player is open to moving to Anfield.
However, rather than try and sign him on a pre-contract agreement, Liverpool would like a deal done in January.
The deadline-day capture of Arthur has not worked out and the player has been unable to prove his fitness to Klopp.
As such, the Reds boss wants to bring Laimer in now and give his midfield the instant relief it clearly needs.
The two clubs could, therefore, negotiate on a fee in the region of £15m in the winter window.
Deal would tick all the boxes
And while Leipzig do not want to lose their star, they are seemingly willing to let him depart in January as opposed losing him for nothing.
Laimer himself is reportedly keen on the switch and has already made clear his fondness for the Merseysiders.
Discussing Leipzig’s decision to reject a summer offer from Liverpool and what the future holds for him, Laimer has left open a future move to Anfield.
“In the end, I would have been ready to take a new step,” he told Servus TV in September. It didn’t happen because the go-ahead from Leipzig didn’t come,” Laimer recalls about summer speculation linking him with Liverpool.
“They quickly said: ‘No, that’s not possible’. On the one hand, that’s nice because (it shows) you’re an important player. But it’s also difficult because a lot of discussions have been held. You’ve thought a lot (about leaving), reflected a lot.”
Dropping a massive hint on a move to Anfield he continued: “I’ve been in Leipzig for five years and I feel good. Now, it will be a year longer and then we will see what happens. I generally like watching the Premier League. I’ve always been a Liverpool fan.”
Laimer looks the perfect midfielder for Klopp. Hard-working, with a good engine and an eye for a pass, he already looks ready-made to slot into their midfield.
And if the price is right, the first addition to Liverpool’s midfield looks to be closing in.