Premier League • England

Bellingham, Tielemans not for Liverpool as Jurgen Klopp told midfielder he ‘must’ sign

Pablo Ganet Comitre of Equatorial Guinea, Yves Bissouma of Mali in AFCON 2022 action

Jurgen Klopp has been advised to steer clear of making moves to sign either Youri Tielemans or Jude Bellingham – with former player John Barnes naming a suprise choice as the midfielder he would most like Liverpool to sign.

The Reds have been linked with a plethora of names this month as they look for a strong finish to the season. With the club second in the Premier League, they are also due to face Inter Milan in the Champions League round-of-16. Furthermore, they are also through to the Carabao Cup final and will also hope for a deep run in the FA Cup.

The month of January has traditionally always proved tricky for the Reds. Indeed, it’s a month when their form often suffers; an issue complicated this year by Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane’s AFCON involvement.

However, Liverpool are unbeaten so far in 2022, only dropping Premier League points in a 2-2 draw at Chelsea.

And they have done so without, so far, spending a penny.

Liverpool are seemingly looking at forwards in the event Salah doesn’t agree a new deal and moves on. To that end, FC Porto’s Luis Diaz and Leeds winger Raphinha are two potential targets.

The Reds are also regularly linked with midfielders, though appear out of the running for free agent Denis Zakaria.

Two other names regularly linked are Jude Bellingham – Borussia Dortmund’s talented teenager – and Leicester schemer Youri Tielemans.

Deals for either would set the Reds back a vast chunk. That said, Tielemans deal expires in summer 2023 and talks over an extension have so far met with frustration for the Foxes. Therefore, the Belgian could be on for a reduced fee this summer.

However, Liverpool legend Barnes has advised Klopp to ignore both players and instead opt instead for Yves Bissouna.

The Malian star is a key cog at Brighton, but Graham Potter admits he may be lured away.

Yves Bissouma a perfect fit for Liverpool

And while that may be for as much as £50m, Barnes reckons he’s a perfect fit for Liverpool.

Speaking to BonusCodeBets, via the Daily Mirror, Barnes said: “Youri Tielemans is a brilliant player, but he’s a completely different type of footballer to Yves Bissouma.

Yves Bissouma to cost Aston Villa, Liverpool £50m

Yves Bissouma to cost Aston Villa, Liverpool £50m

Liverpool and Aston Villa will pursue Yves Bissouma despite the £50m cost set by Brighton

“Tielemans is a very good hardworking midfielder. But if you look at the nature of what Liverpool midfielders do, in terms of their physicality and the ability to get up and down the field, that isn’t necessarily what Tielemans does.

“Youri is excellent in possession and is perhaps maybe more Manchester City’s style of player. Yves Bissouma would suit the Liverpool style more than Tielemans would. The same as he would with Jude Bellingham.”

Barnes wants midfielder signing

The Reds may soon need reinforcements in midfield. Indeed, the futures of Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain look far from certain.

James Milner at 36 is nearing the latter stages of his career, while Thiago Alcantara appears regularly troubled by injury.

As such, Barnes can see Liverpool making a big splash in midfield this summer.

Asked which of three he’s prefer, Barnes then said any of the trio would impress.

“All three are excellent players though, Liverpool wouldn’t be doing wrong by signing any of them.”

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