Liverpool will not be signing Jude Bellingham or Ruben Neves before this summer’s transfer deadline, but Nicolo Barella reportedly remains a strong option.
After weeks of talk about the strengths and weaknesses of the Reds’ midfield, Jurgen Klopp has performed a U-turn. Speaking in a press conference last week, he announced that he is in fact chasing a new signing.
Liverpool have Curtis Jones, Naby Keita, Thiago Alcantara and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all out through injury. But the latter three are injury prone, leading Klopp to look for reinforcements.
As for Anfield targets, Borussia Dortmund star Bellingham has long been touted as Klopp’s top man. The 19-year-old England international looks a generational talent following his recent rise.
But the general consensus this summer has been that Dortmund will not sell Bellingham after already losing deadly striker Erling Haaland to Manchester City.
And Dortmund sporting director Sebastian Kehl has hardened that stance with three days left of the transfer window.
Kehl told Sky 90: “I hope that Jude Bellingham will stay at BVB beyond 2023. I can see he feels super comfortable with us.”
Liverpool also not signing Ruben Neves
Elsewhere, Wolves boss Bruno Lage has similarly ruled out a late-summer move for Portugal international Neves.
The 25-year-old scored in Sunday’s 1-1 Premier League draw with Newcastle.
Lage said: “I can confirm I’m 99 per cent sure that Ruben Neves will stay at Wolverhampton this summer.”
As for other Liverpool targets, reports have claimed that RB Leipzig’s Konrad Laimer is on Klopp’s radar. Klopp has recruited extensively from the Red Bull football stable before.
And with only one year left on Laimer’s contract, the Austria international – also a Bayern Munich target – has a price tag of £25.4million.
Sheffield United’s Sander Berge – who impressed against Liverpool in the Champions League for Genk in 2019 – is also a target.
Nicolo Barella remains an option
Meanwhile, the Evening Standard brings Inter’s Nicolo Barella back into the picture for Liverpool.
The 39-cap Italy international, 25, has played 138 times for the Serie A club, scoring 11 goals and assisting 35 others.
Barella played 36 of 38 Inter games in the 2020/21 season under Antonio Conte as the club won Serie A.
Last season, he contributed directly to 17 goals in all competitions and previous reports from the Daily Mirror have claimed that it will take between £75million and £100million to sign Barella, who has five years left on his contract this summer.
Reds on keen transfer watch
Whoever Liverpool target, they are unlikely to make any mistakes over the profile of the player they bring in.
The Reds have executed a perfect transfer strategy in recent years under Klopp to build a trophy-winning team.
However, every team needs refreshing and without the injury-prone factor of some Liverpool stars, their team needs an update anyway.
Liverpool have not panic bought any of their signings in recent seasons – and they have all been exactly the player they want.
The Merseyside club will be one of the key clubs to watch as the transfer window enters its home stretch.