Huge blow for Edwards as deal for No 1 Liverpool target hits brick wall

Florian Neuhaus, Jonas Hoffman, Borussia Monchengladbach

Liverpool have learned they have next to no chance of signing the man that sporting director Michael Edwards had reportedly earmarked as the club’s No 1 target to replace Georginio Wijnaldum.

The Reds have been planning for Wijnaldum’s likely departure for months. The Dutch midfielder was a vital cog in the side under Jurgen Klopp. But with his deal elapsing, he was allowed to join PSG on a free transfer.

As such, Edwards has been analysing the qualities of a number of would-be replacements. The likes of Rodrigo de Paul and Yves Bissouma have both been linked – but it was Neuhaus who’d emerged as their No 1 target.

And it seemed as though Liverpool had the green light to land their man. That’s after a report in Spain claimed the classy midfielder was closing in on a move to Anfield.

As per AS, Liverpool were close to agreeing a deal with his club Borussia Monchengladbach with a staggered payment structure being finalised. With his £34.3m exit clause expiring, Liverpool were being tipped to tie up a deal in the region of £40m.

However, Bild‘s chief reporter Tobi Altschaffl is adamant that Neuhaus will not be sold. He reports to having “had a good chat with the new Gladbach coach Adi Hutter” and there is an inclination that “Neuhaus will stay for at least another year at Monchengladbach”.

Should Altschaffl be proven right, the insistence that Neuhaus will stay for another year will rekindle talk Bayern Munich could swoop.

The Bundesliga champions have previously been linked with the player but have explained why a move won’t be on the cards this summer.

Neuhaus himself also moved to quosh talk of a move to Bayern earlier this month.

Speaking to TZ,, the 24-year-old set the record straight over his future.

He said: “I read that my move to FC Bayern in 2022 was already a done deal. I can clearly deny that here and now.

Transfer Chatter - Liverpool in for Sweden forward, Chelsea's verbal agreement with full-back and Wolves chasing ex-Atletico striker

Transfer Chatter - Liverpool in for Sweden forward, Chelsea's verbal agreement with full-back and Wolves chasing ex-Atletico striker

Jurgen Klopp is monitoring a 17-goal Swedish international, Chelsea have a verbal agreement with one of the world's most exciting full-backs and Wolves toying with approaching free agent, all in today's transfer chatter.

“I haven’t signed a contract anywhere except with Borussia Mönchengladbach. And I feel very much at home there at the moment.”

Nevertheless, he reiterated that he would be open to a move to Bayern in the future.

Neuhaus added: “Home is a very important point for me. I can well imagine living in Markt Kaufering again later.

“But I also found a piece of home in Dusseldorf [after a loan spell at Fortuna in 2017-18], where I met my girlfriend, and I feel very comfortable at Gladbach.”

Give our social media channels a follow – we’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

De Paul blow for Liverpool

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid are reportedly close to agreeing a deal to sign De Paul this summer.

The Argentine, who currently plays for Italian side Udinese, will cost Los Rojiblancos a fee in the region of €35million. He’s expected to sign a five-year contract.

De Paul was a major target for Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa last summer, while the Reds were credited with an interest soon after.

The 27-year-old began his career at Racing Club before making a name for himself at Valencia.

He spent two years at Mestalla before moving to Udinese in 2016. He has scored 34 goals in 184 appearances for the Italian outfit.

De Paul has also won 24 caps for Argentina and could be a replacement for Saul Niguez at Atletico.

The Spain international has been linked with both Manchester clubs, as well as Liverpool. A fee of around €70m is likely to see the Spanish outfit sell.

READ MORELineker in awe at ‘exceptional’ Liverpool target, as Klopp given teaser into transfer