Veteran Liverpool attackers among quintet touted in Leeds, Raphinha swap

Date published: Saturday 13th February 2021 4:02 - Steve Pearson

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A pair of Champions League winners have been speculated as potential makeweights should Liverpool act on their interest in Leeds sensation Raphinha.

Liverpool are in the midst of the most difficult spell of Jurgen Klopp’s managerial tenure.

Despite taking the lead with a superbly worked goal against Leicester, a collapse of epic proportions soon followed.

A 3-1 defeat ultimately materialised – their third successive defeat in the Premier League.

Issues at the back have made the headlines, but problems in the final third have also been present.

Liverpool have lacked their usual cutting edge at the business end despite often boasting an overwhelming majority of possession.

One sure-fire way to remedy the situation is through the transfer window. Leeds winger Raphinha has hit the ground running in England, and Liverpool have duly taken note.

With the Reds facing a struggle to secure the riches of Champions League football, however, cash in the summer could be tight.

As such, the Daily Express report that a cash-plus-player deal could be an option.

 

The outlet note five players who could be included in such a deal, with the list headlined by a pair of Champions League winners.

Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri have both written their name in Liverpool folklore, but have had to settle for bit-part roles in recent times.

Leeds were reported to be potential suitors for Origi in the summer before the acquisition of Spaniard Rodrigo. Furthermore, speculation over a January swoop continued to swirl.

The list is rounded out by playmaker Harry Wilson, Sheyi Ojo and Marko Grujic. But Shaqiri and Origi’s ability to be a like-for-like replacement would seemingly earmark them as the best fits if a deal were to materialise.

 

Risky Liverpool strategy could cost millions

Meanwhile, Georginio Wijnaldum’s ‘complicated’ contract situation could become ‘dangerous’ if Liverpool lose him for nothing, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.

Wijnaldum, 30, will be out of contract at the end of the season. The Reds want him to stay after his stellar contribution to their recent success.

The Netherlands international joined Liverpool from Newcastle United in the summer of 2016. Rarely injured, he has made 218 appearances in all competitions, scoring 22 goals, including 16 in the Premier League.

He has played in all 23 of the champions’ top-flight games in 2020-2021, starting 21. The Merseysiders offered him a new deal back in December but he has yet to put pen to paper.

Spanish giants Barcelona have been linked with a summer move for the former PSV man. And Romano feels the Liverpool powerbrokers need to act quickly to prevent such an important player leaving for nothing.

 

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