Liverpool will have to fend off a Premier League rival and a European giant if they want to land an exciting attacker, according to reports.
The Reds have one of the deadliest strike forces in world football, which was on show during Wednesday’s Merseyside derby win over Everton. Jordan Henderson put Jurgen Klopp’s side ahead with a clever finish, before Mo Salah and Diogo Jota rounded off the 4-1 victory.
Salah bagged two counter-attacking goals, while Jota turned brilliantly away from his marker before firing into the roof of the net. Demarai Gray did get on the scoresheet for the Toffees, but they had little reply to Liverpool’s attacking output.
Klopp will also be able to utilise Brazil international Roberto Firmino once he returns from a hamstring problem.
However, Liverpool may need to bolster their forward line soon due to two main reasons. The first is the Africa Cup of Nations, which will make Salah and Sadio Mane unavailable for several games this winter.
The second is the fact that all three of Klopp’s long-standing attackers are 29 or over.
Leeds United’s Raphinha is a potential solution. The winger, a compatriot of Firmino, is on six goals from 12 league appearances this term. His obvious talent would make him a great fit at Anfield.
However, The Hard Tackle, citing reports in the Spanish press, state that Liverpool will not have it all their own way in the pursuit.
Liverpool face fight to land target
Newcastle and Paris Saint-Germain are both keeping tabs on the 24-year-old.
The Magpies’ new financial power makes them a certain threat. They will only spend around £50m in January, but FFP regulations will allow them to part with £150m over the two transfer windows after that.
PSG, meanwhile, reckon Raphinha would be a solid replacement for Kylian Mbappe. The Frenchman is closing in on a dream move to Real Madrid.
The report states that Raphinha is likely to remain in England as it is the best bet for furthering his career. That could put either Liverpool or Newcastle in the driving seat for a deal.
It will be hard to prize the attacker away from Elland Road though. He was recently asked if he could fulfil his career ambitions at Leeds, to which he replied: “Without a doubt.”
Pundit tells Liverpool to complete deal
Meanwhile, former Liverpool man Michael Thomas reckons Raphinha is a ‘really intelligent’ player who would suit Klopp’s style.
During an interview with CaughtOffside, Thomas spoke about Salah’s contract situation and whether Raphinha could replace the Egyptian.
He said: “Replacing Salah isn’t a question. Liverpool need to keep hold of their best players and he is the best.
“Raphinha is a really intelligent player with Premier League experience, so adding him to the squad would of course be beneficial, but hopefully the Salah situation gets sorted sooner rather than later.”