Premier League • England

Liverpool tipped to bridge Bellingham gap by signing Tottenham target who’ll come with huge caveat

Juventus stars Weston McKennie and Adrien Rabiot playing against Bologna

Liverpool could bridge the gap to Jude Bellingham’s potential arrival next summer by signing a Tottenham target on loan, though Premier League regulations mean a huge caveat may be involved, per a report.

Central midfield is where the action at Anfield will lay in the coming transfer windows. Jude Bellingham is the Reds’ primary target and by all accounts, they lead the race for the 19-year-old Englishman.

Real Madrid and Man City are providing the stiffest competition, though Liverpool’s decision to wait potentially 12 months to sign the right man, not just any man, is beginning to look justified.

However, with doubts hanging over so many of their current stars, Bellingham might not be the only new arrival in midfield.

Indeed, Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara and James Milner are all well into their 30s. Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all out of contract at season’s end.

That’s led to rampant speculation another new face could arrive in conjunction with Bellingham, rather than instead of.

The hottest names doing the rounds of late include Sofyan Amrabat and Enzo Fernandez. Both shone at the World Cup for Morocco and Argentina respectively, though neither will come cheap.

Fiorentina’s Amrabat is valued around the £34m mark and the latest on his future was detailed in today’s Euro Paper Talk. Fernandez, meanwhile, holds a whopping €120m (approx. £103m) release clause within his contract at Benfica.

With Liverpool’s owners FSG exploring at least a partial sale, it’s unclear whether they’d be willing to sanction two big deals.

Instead, the Daily Mail and HITC report a more cost-effective move could be explored in the form of Tottenham target, Weston McKennie.

Juventus will cash in on McKennie

The USA international, 24, started every match for his country in Qatar and helped to stifle England in the 0-0 draw in the group stage.

McKennie is one of a number of Juventus stars understood to be on the move in 2023. His current deal doesn’t expire until 2025, but Juve are willing to cash in.

The box-to-box midfielder has regularly been linked with Tottenham. That should come as no surprise given Spurs’ penchant for Serie A signings since Fabio Paratici and Antonio Conte arrived in north London.

McKennie would add a more attacking dimension to Spurs’ one-paced central midfield ranks. If moving in January, Calciomercato reported he’ll not cost more than £26m if signed outright.

However, the Daily Mail put Liverpool in the mix, with HITC subsequently touting a loan move.

The Reds will be in a fierce scrap for top four after Christmas and will need every edge they can get. Bolstering their midfield ranks and depriving Spurs of a key target at the same time would pay dividends.

There is a major caveat attached to any loan move however, and it involves fellow Juve loanee, Arthur Melo.

Liverpool would require added commitment

Premier League regulations stipulate that clubs cannot sign more than one player on loan from the same club. However, we have seen Tottenham, ironically enough, circumvent the law in recent times.

Spurs loaned two players from Atalanta at the same time during the 2021-22 campaign – Cristian Romero and Pierluigi Gollini.

HITC claim this was allowed as Romero’s deal contained a mandatory option to buy. In essence, while Romero technically arrived on loan, the move was treated as a permanent deal given Tottenham had to sign the Argentine outright at a later date.

Unless Liverpool cut Arthur’s loan spell short – which they’ve no intention of doing – a McKennie loan would require a commitment to buy once the spell concludes.

Whether Liverpool would be willing to make that commitment, only time will tell.

EURO PAPER TALK: Huge lift for Liverpool as €40m midfield target favours Anfield switch; Arsenal in talks for superstar attacker