Liverpool target swoop on Prem rivals for quality full-back; Klopp sees 22 y/o as upgrade for 2020 signing

Rayan Ait-Nouri of Wolves is a transfer target for Liverpool

Rayan Ait-Nouri of Wolves is a target for Liverpool

Liverpool are reportedly keeping a close watch on Wolves full-back Rayan Ait-Nouri amid claims Jurgen Klopp has earmarked the Algeria international as a future target for the Reds.

The Merseysiders spent the summer window rebuilding their midfield after six departures at Anfield. And while they brought in four new arrivals, to the combined tune of £145.2m, Liverpool are reportedly still hoping to add another midfielder to their mix when the January window opens for business.

In addition, Klopp and Co are also drawing up plans for some other major signings in the transfer windows to come. To that end, Liverpool also hope to sign a new central defender with Joel Matip likely to leave as a free agent at the end of the 2023/24 season.

Klopp’s top target is reportedly Bournemouth’s Lloyd Kelly, amid claims Liverpool have learned he can move for a fee of around £25m in January with his deal on the south coast also expiring next summer.

There is also ongoing concerns around the future of Mohamed Salah. His deal does not expire until 2025 but with links to Al-Ittihad refusing to go away, Liverpool are scouring the market for a would-be successor at Anfield. Replacing the Egyptian superstar will clearly be no easy task for Klopp given the avalanche of goals Salah has plundered in on Merseyside.

Klopp also has the ongoing dilemma of working out what best to do over Trent Alexander-Arnold’s long-term future, with the player likely to evolve more into a midfield option as time goes on. However, until Liverpool find a quality option to replace him at right-back, Klopp will keep the transition on the backburner for now.

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Liverpool linked with raid on Wolves for Rayan Ait-Nouri

An altogether more pressing dilemma for Klopp, however, is the future of Liverpool’s left-back role. The position has been held down with authority and distinction for a good seven seasons now by Andy Robertson.

But the Scotland star, who will be 30 in March, has been injured of late, with his absence badly felt by the Reds. In the recent 1-1 draw at Luton, Klopp opted to play right-sided centre-half Joe Gomez there. But his lack of a left-foot limited Liverpool’s options down the left and restricted their capabilites of going forwards with Gomez constantly playing the ball inside and not really adept at bursting down the wing.

During Sunday’s 3-0 win over Brentford, it was Kostas Tsimikas who got the nod.

However, the Greece international – a £11.9m signing from Olympiacos in 2020 – appears to have suffered a decline in form of late, falling down the pecking order under Klopp. Indeed, his selection at Anfield on Sunday can perhaps be owed to the fact that Klopp simply has no other option to play there.

Now reports in France claim Klopp is turning his attention towards Ait-Nouri as an upgrade for Tsimikas and a potential long-term successor to Robertson.

According to Le 10 Sport, Ait-Nouri’s performances for Wolves have caught the eye at Anfield and the Algeria international is very much admired by Klopp, having been earmarked as a possible future target.

It’s not the first time he’s been mentioned as a possible target for one of the Premier League’s big spenders with Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City previously touted with an interest.

He moved to Molineux in October 2020 from Ligue 1 side Angers, and has made 125 appearances for Wolves, scoring four goals and assisting in five more.

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