Liverpool have put securing three new deals at the top of their to-do list before addressing who should be brought in to replace Georginio Wijnaldum, per a report.
The Dutchman, 30, departed Liverpool with a heavy heart after five years of exemplary service at Anfield. Precisely why the Reds allowed such an influential figure to leave for PSG as a free agent has been the matter of great speculation. Indeed, Wijnaldum promised to address the decision after Euro 2020.
Several midfield targets have been touted as ideal candidates to fill the void left by Wijnaldum.
Germany international Florian Neuhaus, Brighton’s Yves Bissouma and Villa’s John McGinn are three of many. In Bissouma’s case, Liverpool could face stiff competition from Arsenal if they decide to double up on their Brighton raids.
However, per reliable football journalist Fabrizio Romano, Jurgen Klopp and the Reds have other priorities.
Romano told the Here We Go podcast (via the Express): “There is no rush [to replace Wijnaldum] on Liverpool’s end.
“There are reports about Yves Bissouma but nothing is going on. It’s the same with Neuhaus. Liverpool want the right opportunity in their hunt for the new Wijnaldum.”
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Instead, Liverpool are first looking to tie down a trio of key first-team performers to new long-term deals.
“At the moment there is nothing advanced,” continued Romano. “Their priority is sorting out new contracts for Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk.
“They’re working on Fabinho’s deal. They want to extend the contracts of Alisson and Van Dijk as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile, the Reds will reportedly ask clubs showing interest in defender Nat Phillips to pay £15million for his transfer, according to a report.
The 24-year-old has put himself firmly in the shop window for a new club after his stellar performances last season.
Phillips excelled on short notice, however, he could ask to leave with Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez all returning to fitness. Furthermore, new £36million signing Ibrahima Konate has bolstered Liverpool’s ranks and will expect game time.
According to the Daily Mail, manager Klopp wants to keep Phillips around next season. Should he ask to leave, though, the Reds will demand £15million. That fee has increased from previous reports, which claimed the Anfield club wanted £10million for the player’s transfer.
Liverpool are aware that Phillips has raised his profile significantly with his unexpected rise. His exit will be key if his club are to raise transfer funds for more new signings.