Premier League • England

Report reveals why Klopp was denied shock Liverpool raid for Man Utd forward

Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood, Edinson Cavani Manchester United celeb after Europa League goal v Roma

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp reportedly wanted to sign veteran Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani over the summer.

A report from Spanish news oulet El Nacional claims that Klopp was monitoring the situation of the Uruguay forward throughout the course of the summer, only for United to categorically rule out a sale to their bitter Premier League rivals.

The report in El Nacional adds that Cavani wanted to quit the Red Devils right up until the final day of the summer transfer window.

Barcelona were also known admirers for the 34-year-old, but United opted against a sale.

While it does seem a stretch for Klopp to try and sign a Red Devils star, signing a new No 9 was known to be part of Klopp’s thinking ahead of the start of the 2021-22 campaign.

Roberto Firmino struggled for goals last season, notching just nine in total in 48 appearances.

However, he started the new campaign in impressive form with six in 11 games, before being ruled out for a month with a hamstring injury.

A move for a player of Cavani’s age also goes against the norm for Liverpool. The Reds normally look for younger talent that Klopp can develop and work with for years to come.

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Cavani would very much been a temporary fix for an issue that has been tempered by the goals from Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota over the past 18 months.

As for the Cavani, he has made eight appearances so far this this term scoring, scoring once against Tottenham.

He is, however, expected to be given more game time as the season goes on. But whether that will be under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains to be seen, with the under-pressure United boss under more pressure after the comprehensive home defeat to Manchester City on Saturday.

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Liverpool switch midfield targets

Meanwhile, Liverpool have reportedly identified Real Sociedad midfielder Mikel Merino as a more realistic transfer alternative to Jude Bellingham.

It seems Liverpool’s links with a new midfielder are destined not to slow down in the New Year. Of course, they released Georginio Wijnaldum at the end of last season. No replacement was found, although Harvey Elliott returned from a loan spell and began to make his case before an injury.

There are still some concerns about a lack of depth in the middle of the park for Liverpool. Elliott is not the only player there to have spent time on the sidelines recently. It has reminded Liverpool of the need to have plenty of options in each role.

Should they enter the market for a new midfielder in 2022, they would like to try for a statement signing. They have been heavily linked with Bellingham of Borussia Dortmund, for example.

Bellingham has been building up quite the reputation in the early years of his career. The teenager has not struggled at all with the step up from Birmingham City to Borussia Dortmund. Rather, he has flourished, and he is now a frequent sight in England squads.

There is a widespread acceptance that Bellingham will return to his home country at club level one day. Dortmund will be keen to keep him for a while yet, but a big bid could test their resolve.

Bellingham price skyrockets

Bellingham’s price tag may already have skyrocketed beyond their means. With that in mind, it would be useful to keep in mind some alternative targets.

According to Fichajes, one cheaper solution for Liverpool would be Merino of Real Sociedad.

Formerly of Newcastle United, he has built up a better career for himself in Spain. He may be able to have a better second attempt at Premier League football, though.

Now 25 years old, he has earned 10 caps for Spain and has played more than 100 times for La Real.

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