Premier League • England

Rio Ferdinand advises Liverpool over Enzo Fernandez miss by naming all-action star Klopp really needs

Pundit Rio Ferdinand

Liverpool have been told they do not need to sulk about Chelsea’s impending signing of Enzo Fernandez, having revealed the name of the player Jurgen Klopp truly wants to bring to Anfield.

The Argentina star has become one of the world’s most in-demand stars on the back of some excellent displays at Qatar 2022. He was named Young Player of the Tournament, as his nation beat France on penalties to win the famous trophy.

As a result, demand to sign the 21-year-old midfielder has significantly ramped up, despite Benfica refusing to sell for less than his huge exit clause. That stands at a whopping £106.4m (€120m), but it seems that is a fee Chelsea are willing to pay.

And with Fabrizio Romano providing a key update on the deal, Liverpool’s fading prospects are also being spelled out.

With the Reds now likely to miss out on Fernandez, Ferdinand is adamant that Liverpool will quickly move on.

And while he says missing out on Fernandez will come as a blow, he knows the player is far from their top target.

Indeed, that honour appears to fall on Jude Bellingham, with Klopp’s interest in the star well documented.

However, their chances appeared to have taken a backwards step over the Festive period amid claims he has told his advisors he wants a move elsewhere.

Despite those reports, Ferdinand still rates Liverpool’s prospects. And the pundit is adamant that Klopp is right to hold off on Fernandez if it means they can secure the signing of Bellingham instead.

Ferdinand backs Liverpool to sign Jude Bellingham

“Both are top [players],” Ferdinand told his Vibe with Five YouTube page. “I mean Fernandez was my player of the tournament for Argentina. I thought he was so composed, his team won the World Cup and he was an integral member of that team.

“But I would have to lean on the side of Bellingham. I just think he is all-action. He affects the game, whether he plays deep, as an eight or plays almost as an eight going into a ten.

“This kid affects football matches. His whole demeanour. I don’t know Fernandez well enough. I probably know a reason why I am learning towards Bellingham, it’s because I know more about him.

“Bellingham, in terms of just driving culture, the right type and the right profile for this league. He would be my hands-down and standout signing, in that sense.”

Any deal for Bellingham is likely to cost interested sides in excess of £100m. And despite claims he has a release clause of £60m, demand for his services means the fee will skyrocket.

At just 19 years of age, it’s easy to see why he is in such demand. Coming of age this season, he has illustrated his maturity by captaining Borussia Dortmund on occasions.

And the good news for Liverpool is that a prominent club director has already made clear his wish to sell Bellingham to Liverpool.

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