Liverpool fans hoping a blockbuster signing would replace Georginio Wijnaldum may be left disappointed, while Jurgen Klopp’s preferred midfield three has been revealed, according to a report.
When it became apparent Wijnaldum would leave Anfield, speculation quickly centred around who would replace the reliable Dutchman. A plethora of targets from the Premier League and beyond have been linked with filling the void.
A recent report reaffirmed Klopp’s interest in Borussia Monchengladbach’s Florian Neuhaus.
Though signing the German international would first require a relevant exit. That’s because the Reds’ squad is already at its limit regarding non-homegrown players. Ibrahima Konate’s arrival bumped up the number before Takumi Minamino’s return from loan hit the cap.
Leicester’s FA Cup hero Youri Tielemans and Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez had also been namechecked.
In Saul’s case, the La Liga champions are understood to be open to his sale with the club heavily in debt.
A deal in the region of around £40m had been touted as being required to greenlight a deal. However, per the latest from Goal, a deal of that magnitude is looking increasingly unlikely.
They state that deals of that nature for the likes of Saul and Tielemans are not ‘financially viable’ at present.
The £36m arrival of Konate may have given Liverpool fans hope of a huge window to help reel Man City in. Though that transfer has already been balanced in large part by three departures. The exits of Harry Wilson, Taiwo Awoniyi and Marko Grujic have generated a combined £29m.
Liverpool’s wage bill is currently second only to Man City in the Premier League. And with renewals on the horizon for the likes of Mohamed Salah, Alisson Becker, Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho, preserving the spine of their team appears to be a bigger priority.
One school of thought suggests rising youngster Curtis Jones could therefore step into Wijnaldum’s vacated spot.
The 20-year-old has rarely put a foot wrong when afforded opportunity to impress. However, the article claims Klopp has already settled on which three midfielders he will most often deploy.
It’s claimed a midfield comprising Fabinho at the base, Jordan Henderson on the right and Thiago Alcantara on the left is the German’s preference.
That triumvirate was only fielded on a single occasion last year amid widespread injury disruption. With a new arrival appearing unlikely, Klopp will be hoping their injuries woes are firmly behind them.
Liverpool respond to outlandish Pogba claims
Meanwhile, Mino Raiola has reportedly offered Liverpool the chance to sign midfielder Paul Pogba from rivals Manchester United.
The source of the story is French outlet Le10 Sport, who report that Raiola let Liverpool know about “a transfer possibility this summer”.
Liverpool’s response was to indicate that next January they would be open to a deal, but not this summer.
Of course January would see Pogba able to speak to foreign clubs with the France international free to move on next July.
The report claims “next January, six months from the end of Paul Pogba’s contract the opportunity could perhaps interest them”.