Premier League • England

Liverpool still a ‘dark horse’ to sign game-changing midfielder seemingly destined for Arsenal move

Jurgen Klopp Ajax v Liverpool

Liverpool remain a ‘dark horse’ to sign a Premier League midfielder on a free transfer next summer, despite it appearing he is closer to a move to Arsenal.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is expected to shake up his midfield engine room, either in January or more likely in the summer of 2023, with the position that was once deemed a huge strength of the side now not quite what it was.

Naby Keita, Arthur Melo and James Milner have all had spells on the sidelines this term. Jordan Henderson and Fabinho, meanwhile, have not had particularly stellar campaigns so far.

Add in the fact that Thiago, Henderson and Milner are all over 30 and Klopp is on the hunt for some fresh, younger talent.

Jude Bellingham has long been linked with an Anfield switch. However, the England man will cost well in excess of £100million, while another raid on Benfica has also been tipped.

Enzo Fernandez, 21, has been a revelation for the Portuguese outfit this season. Indeed, he excelled in their Champions League group-stage campaign.

The talented midfielder is valued at significantly less than Bellingham, coming in at £44m, but is also wanted by United.

However, you can’t get any cheaper than free and that is where Leicester’s Youri Tielemans fits the bill.

The Belgium international, like the Foxes, made a poor start to the season but has been outstanding of late.

Tielemans scored with a stunning volley at Everton recently. Indeed, he has made a habit of popping up with important goals throughout his time in England.

And at just 25 years of age, he has the engine and work ethic that Klopp wants.

Arteta wants Tielemans in Arsenal midfield mix

The big issue for the Reds will be if the likes of Arsenal, Newcastle or even Manchester United try and snatch the player for a bargain price in January.

The Gunners have been the most strongly linked with Tielemans, after they failed to sign Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz on deadline day.

The Belgian seems a natural fit for Mikel Arteta’s midfield. But there is no guarantee of regular first-team football, given how well Arsenal are going right now with their trio of Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka and Martin Odegaard.

However, beyond those three they are fairly light in that position and adding Tielemans would be a wise move.

But according to journalist Paul Brown, Liverpool are still very much in the running for the player’s signature.

He told GiveMeSport: “A dark horse to watch out for here his Liverpool. I would not be surprised at all if we saw Liverpool make a move for Tielemans as a free agent.”

However, to do that they’re relying on Tielemans being happy to see out his contract and leave for nothing.

Clearly the main benefit he will get from doing that is a hefty signing-on fee. So, to that end, the Reds will now have to play a waiting game and hope the midfielder is still around at the end of the season.

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