Transfer Gossip: Liverpool to hijack major Man Utd move with Klopp bullish on instant impact; Arsenal in serious danger of losing Arteta favourite
Liverpool are interested in snatching Frenkie de Jong from under Man Utd’s nose and the one barrier that prevented a summer sale is crumbling, while Arsenal could be vulnerable to seeing one of their finest stars poached – both in Sunday’s Transfer Gossip.
LIVERPOOL WANT FRENKIE DE JONG
The Reds’ midfield issues could prompt a move for Man Utd target Frenkie de Jong, and the latest from Spain suggests he might be warming to a move.
Manchester United installed De Jong as their primary transfer target over the summer. Erik ten Hag earmarked his fellow Dutchman as the perfect player to pull the strings in his midfield.
Barcelona were open to selling and accepted a United offer worth around £72m. However, with the issue of deferred salary bubbling away, De Jong put the kibosh on a move.
He had hoped to put the saga to bed and once again become an integral part of Barcelona’s eleven. However, the situation hasn’t panned out as De Jong hoped.
Xavi has predominantly selected Gavi, Sergio Busquets and Pedri as his midfield three. De Jong has often been overlooked in the big games this season and could again be rooted to the bench for this afternoon’s El Clasico.
Spanish outlet Sport (via the Daily Mail), report the 25-year-old is far from pleased at how he’s been treated by Barcelona in the season’s early going.
That stance is exacerbated by the fact he has reluctantly agreed to restructure his high salary at season’s end – something Barcelona have insisted on given their precarious financial state.
Frenkie de Jong could move in January?
The primary barrier to a De Jong transfer last summer was the player himself. If he’s now losing faith at Barcelona and sees the writing on the wall regarding team selection, he may decide enough is enough and green light a move.
On that front, Fabrizio Romano has repeatedly insisted Man Utd would continue to pursue De Jong is he became available.
What’s more, the Daily Mail recently highlighted three reasons why Barcelona need to sell De Jong in January more than ever.
However, further Spanish reports, as cited by the Liverpool Echo, suggest Liverpool could hijack any move.
Liverpool’s midfield issues are there for all to see. Klopp boasts an ageing and injury-prone group with many – such as James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby keita – in the final year of their deals.
Jude Belingham is their primary target, but a move for De Jong could become a very real possibility one window earlier than Bellingham in January.
The Reds are deemed keen on signing De Jong with Klopp termed ‘confident’ the Dutchman could and would adapt to the more physical Premier League straight away.
That would be welcome news to Reds fans given it already looks like they’re in a fierce scrap just to finish inside the top four.
A signing of De Jong’s calibre mid-season could tee up a second half charge.
EURO GIANT CIRCLING OVER ARSENAL ACE
‘Concrete interest’ is brewing in Arsenal favourite William Saliba, and why he’s more likely to leave than Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli has been revealed.
Arsenal are flying high this season and are keen to secure the futures of those at the heart of their surge.
They want new contracts for all three of Saliba, Saka and Martinelli. The trio are all aged just 21, yet are already three of the finest stars the Premier League has to offer.
Saliba was finally given his chance to shine this season following three loan spells back to France. Once the nod came from Arteta, Saliba has wasted no time showcasing why he is thought of so highly in his home country.
He displaced Ben White who has shifted over to right back. Since making his debut in gameweek one, Arteta has played Saliba for every single minute in the league.
However, according to CBS Sports reporter Ben Jacobs, PSG are circling. What’s more, the journalist outlined why Arsenal could be vulnerable.
Speaking to the Football Terrace, Jacobs explained (via the Sun): “Compared to Martinelli and Saka, he’s [Saliba] only been back at the club a few months.
“He’s still coming to terms with a lot of voices in his ear. It’s not just Marseille, it’s PSG saying: ‘if you’re that uncertain or unsure about Arsenal, we can potentially bring you in’.
“PSG are definitely still looking for defenders. I see no reason he would want to leave but the only caveat there is he did love living in France. If PSG did come in, it might give him a decision to make.
“Arsenal have confidence but there is a lot more concrete interest around Saliba.”
Saliba’s current deal expires in the summer of 2024. With France’s biggest club circling, Gunners fans will eagerly be awaiting news of a contract extension to ward off the interest.
Losing a player who could be the cornerstone of their defence for the next decade would be a bitter pill to swallow.
GERRARD WANTS VILLA WINGER GONE
Finally, Steven Gerrard has urged Aston Villa chiefs to sever ties with a forgotten winger.
That’s according to Football Insider who state Gerrard ‘has told Aston Villa to accept a permanent offer for Bertrand Traore in January’.
The Burkina Faso international, 27, is currently on loan at Turkish side Istanbul Başakşehir. His stint in the Turkish capital is slated to last all season, but Gerrard reportedly wants a permanent solution sought in January.
The Villa boss apparently doesn’t see a future for Traore in the Midlands. Rather than delaying the inevitable, Gerrard wants a sale secured in a move that would also free up funds towards new recruits.
No details as to the fee Villa would seek are cited. He arrived from Lyon for around £17m in 2020, though that valuation may have shrunk.