Liverpool are very much in the market for a midfielder in 2023 and have done plenty of work on two targets, one of whom looks the most likely to be available, after links with another resurfaced, TEAMtalk has been told.
Liverpool’s midfield has been under scrutiny this season. They have a lot of experience and youth in the position, but not really anyone in the prime of their career. Besides, there are several players who could leave them in the new year.
At the end of the season, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita will be out of contract, while Arthur Melo’s loan spell from Juventus will come to a conclusion.
It could leave Liverpool light in a department they already acknowledged the need to strengthen in the summer anyway.
Hence, there have been several links with possible targets ahead of next year. The number one option appears to be Jude Bellingham, who could return to English football from Borussia Dortmund.
But there will be plenty of competition for the 19-year-old, who will not come cheap. With that in mind, there have been suggestions of other alternatives for Liverpool.
Over the weekend, links with Leicester contract rebel Youri Tielemans resurfaced. He has been heavily tipped to join Arsenal, but Liverpool have been named as a “dark horse” in the race to sign the Belgian.
TEAMtalk’s transfer expert Graeme Bailey, though, has told us that there would be a couple of problems on the Tielemans front.
What’s more, Liverpool like some other possible reinforcements, having looked into a couple of alternatives before the Arthur deal on deadline day.
Liverpool looking at midfield trio
Bailey told TEAMtalk: “Liverpool did a lot of work towards the end of the window, but in the end instead of spending they went with Arthur – a deal that that has not been a success under any measure.
“But as well as Arthur they also did major work on Konrad Laimer and Ruben Neves. Neves has been linked with a number of clubs in recent times with Manchester United and Barcelona amongst those who had shown an interest in the past 12 months or so – but whether he is available in January remains to be seen, as new boss Julen Lopetegui won’t be wanting to lose any of his big names.
“The problem with Tielemans is two-fold at the moment, in that the main problem for January is that Leicester do not want to sell and that is not a huge shock given their excellent run of form.
“It seems Leicester would be willing to let him leave in the summer on a free instead and when he is available, Arsenal like him a lot and have a done a great deal of work on him.
“One name very much in contention is Konrad Laimer. The Austrian saw a move to Bayern Munich fall through, but now he very much has his options open. He is out of contract in the summer and RB Leipzig are ready to do business.
“He has just returned from injury and will be fully fit for the season re-start, and Liverpool do like him.”
Laimer has represented RB Leipzig since 2017, when he joined them from sister club RB Salzburg.
Unlike Leicester’s Tielemans and Wolves’ Neves, he has never played in the Premier League before. However, Liverpool have a keen interest in him and he could be the one they go for.
Neves and Tielemans will be worth keeping in mind, though, even if their current clubs are less open to the idea of a January deal.