Liverpool transfer news: ‘Crazy’ potential new Van Dijk partner could cost more than current Klopp leader
Liverpool are right to be looking at Josko Gvardiol as a transfer target, according to a former Premier League defender who has questioned whether he will eclipse the cost of Virgil van Dijk.
Going into the summer transfer market, Liverpool might be looking for another centre-back to pair with Van Dijk. In the long term, anyone they bring in could then become a successor to the Dutchman as the leader of their backline.
Ibrahima Konate has potential, but his time at Liverpool so far has been stop start. Meanwhile, Joel Matip could leave in the summer, and Joe Gomez has suffered from a downturn in form.
Van Dijk himself has begun to show some signs of decline in recent months, even if he is still good enough to be a regular starter.
Therefore, Liverpool are looking at defenders they could bring in for next season. In that regard, one option they have been thinking about is RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol.
The Croatia international is one of the most promising centre-backs in Europe. He has also been linked with the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea.
But a move to Liverpool might appeal to the 21-year-old. And if they can get hold of him, he would be an “excellent” addition, according to Alan Hutton.
The former Tottenham and Aston Villa full-back has claimed Gvardiol would make an ideal partner for Van Dijk, whose £75million transfer fee he might surpass – if Liverpool are willing to go that far.
After all, Gvardiol’s rapid ascent has been described as “crazy” by the pundit.
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“I think he is an excellent player,” Hutton told Football Insider.
“We are talking about a lot of money. Left-sided, great range of passing. He is physical, he is a good size. Him playing up with a Virgil van Dijk who is fully fit, I think a lot of fans would be very happy with that.
“It is going to cost a lot of money and whether they are willing to spend that on a centre-half we will soon find out.
“We are talking £80-plus million for him. But I think it is well worth it. He is only 21. It is crazy to think that he is playing at that level at such a young age and taking it all in his stride.
“So I think that would be an excellent signing.”
Gvardiol became a member of the first team squad at RB Leipzig in 2021. Coincidentally, that was the same summer they sold Ibrahima Konate to Liverpool. The German outfit had originally bought Gvardiol from Dinamo Zagreb in 2020 before allowing him to remain there on loan.
Since becoming part of the Leipzig fold, Gvardiol has amassed 75 appearances in all competitions. His tally has included 46 games last season and 29 this season so far.
As Hutton has alluded to, Gvardiol has quickly established himself at a good level. He seems capable of taking the next step in his career, which Liverpool might be able to provide.
But while they focus on strengthening their midfield as a priority, it remains to be seen what amount of money they will have left to address their defensive needs as well.
Liverpool’s summer transfer activity could be something of a balancing act, which they will have to get right.
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