Jurgen Klopp wants Liverpool to do all in their power to secure the signing of Bayer Leverkusen playmaker Kai Havertz this summer, according to a report.
Plans are already well underfoot for the summer transfer window at Anfield as Klopp and Co plot for what we can all assume will be their Premier League title defence.
But the biggest incoming this summer could be rising star Havertz, with the Daily Express reporting that the 20-year-old has emerged as the No 1 target for Klopp this summer.
The 20-year-old would attract a significant price tag, with reports in Germany suggesting that his club Bayer Leverkusen are braced for bids and will demand around £110million.
Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich are widely considered the favourites to land Havertz, if he does decide to move on, and former Chelsea man Michael Ballack has backed the switch – having made the same move himself in the past.
But it’s claimed Liverpool are ready to blow Bayern out the water by shattering their transfer record to land Havertz.
The Reds have had a relatively quiet January window, getting their business done early by signing Takumi Minamino in a bargain £7.25million arrival from Red Bull Salzburg.
And while young striker Joe Hardy also arrived from Brentford, the Reds otherwise kept their powder dry – something they also did over the summer.
Indeed, reports in German newspaper Bild claimed that the Reds have held “concrete talks” with Havertz.
According to Bild’s Head of Football coverage Christian Falk – via the journalist’s Twitter account – Liverpool’s interest is still as concrete as before and Leverkusen are preparing themselves for an offer from Jurgen Klopp’s side.
What’s more, Falk revealed that Bayern are keen as well as a Spanish club, expected to be either Barcelona or Real Madrid.
According to the Express, however, Liverpool will move for Philippe Coutinho if they don’t win the race to sign Havertz, with their former star emerging as a solid Plan B.
Reports last week claimed Barcelona are prepared to let Coutinho leave the club for a fee within the region of £67m in the summer.
The Catalan giants paid a whopping £142m to sign the Brazilian from back in 2018, only for the playmaker to be shipped out on loan to Bayern Munich for the season with an option to buy for €120m.
At this stage it looks highly unlikely that Bayern will take up that option, leaving Coutinho to return to Barca at the end of the season, and move on for a vastly-reduced fee.
Klopp talks summer signings
And while Klopp would not be drawn on specific targets, the Reds boss did admit he was open to the idea of strengthening his squad in the summer.
“Not easy but is it possible? We will see, we don’t know exactly,” Klopp said when asked if he could strengthen his squad in the summer.
“We just prepare potential situations, that’s how it is.
“We always try to strengthen and to strengthen could mean as well that we look at our own squad: who can make the next step, who is ready for doing that, who will hopefully not be injured and can hopefully make the next steps as well?
“Like Ox [Chamberlain] and Naby [Keita] – some little injuries here and there cost them always a little bit of rhythm, but we all know about the quality of them. Curtis [Jones] now came on in the last game, looked pretty promising.
“These are talks we have, where we try to estimate the future. We believe that we can do a lot with this existing squad, that these boys can make next steps.
“As long as you can make the next step, you are in the right place and we just have to make sure that they do them as well.
“A squad like this, to improve easily would be really strange.
“It would have to be 100 per cent the right player, or we do it internally, or we do it internally and externally. All possible.”