Two top sources have explained why a Liverpool midfield deal could be derailed – and not only because Arsenal are in the mix, while Tuesday’s Transfer Gossip brings new of Declan Rice’s likely next club and a Gunners forward being sized up by four Premier League sides.
LIVERPOOL WASTING THEIR TIME FOR GRAVENBERCH?
Despite Liverpool making a ‘strong pitch’ that was well received by Bayern Munich’s Ryan Gravenberch, two top sources have explained why Jurgen Klopp could be facing more midfield transfer pain.
The Reds are accelerating their back-up midfield plans after pulling the plug on their pursuit of Jude Bellingham.
Among the numerous names they’re showing interest in is Bayern’s Dutch international, Ryan Gravenberch.
The 20-year-old has barely got a look-in since arriving from Ajax last summer. With Konrad Laimer due to join from RB Leipzig and Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich going nowhere, Gravenberch’s situation is unlikely to improve next season.
As such, Liverpool sensed an opportunity and per Sky Sports, made a ‘strong pitch’ to the player’s camp.
The approach was said to have been warmly received, with Gravenberch ‘enthusiastic’ about moving to Anfield. The Times subsequently reported a deal can be struck for around £25m.
However, according to two trusted sources in Germany, Liverpool’s hopes may soon be dashed.
Bayern drop the hammer on Klopp
Indeed, BILD’s Christian Falk tweeted Bayern ‘insist’ Gravenberch is ‘not for sale’. Falk acknowledged Liverpool had held a meeting with the player’s representatives, though convincing Bayern to cash in is another matter entirely.
Now, Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg has echoed Falk’s claims. However, there’s further bad news in the form of Arsenal entering the race.
Plettenberg tweeted Gravenberch is “unhappy” with his current situation at Bayern, namely his lack of on-field action.
However, Plettenberg added the player is “definitely NOT for sale” and that’s a view adopted by both Bayern’s hierarchy and new manager Thomas Tuchel.
What’s more, even in the event that stance is mere posturing to help drive a hard bargain, Plettenberg stated Arsenal “are in” the mix in the event a sale is sanctioned.
Gravenberch has been on Liverpool’s radar dating back to last summer and Sky Sports in England claimed they touched base with the player once again in January. He was actually Man Utd’s preferred option to Marcel Sabitzer at the time, though Bayern refused to loan the Gravenberch out just six months after his arrival.
Clearly, Liverpool are nothing if not determined in their pursuit of Gravenberch. But if the German sources are to be believed, Bayern are simply unwilling to play ball.
DECLAN RICE CHOOSES BETWEEN ARSENAL, CHELSEA, NEWCASTLE
Declan Rice is primed to leave West Ham this summer and which club he’s smitten with has been revealed.
The Athletic previously reported West Ham are ‘internally resigned’ to losing their midfield talisman this summer. Rice is under contract until 2024 and there’s a club option for an extra 12 months. However, he’s rejected three offers to extend his contract and they see no sense delaying the inevitable.
As a Premier League-proven performer and a regular for England, Rice obviously does not lack for suitors.
Arsenal and Chelsea have been heavily linked, while the Telegraph reported Newcastle have thrown their name in the hat and will be emboldened to spend big if finishing inside the top four.
Now, a report from talkSPORT has shed light on who Rice is likeliest to pick if given the choice.
They claim it’s Arsenal who remain the player’s ‘most likely destination’, with the Gunners’ interest also termed ‘the most advanced’. Furthermore, Rice is labelled ‘excited’ by the prospect of joining the club.
Rice is known to favour remaining in London in the event he does leave West Ham. A second factor in his decision will be playing in the Champions League.
Only Arsenal of the three interested clubs will be able to satisfy both of those demands next year – assuming Chelsea don’t win the UCL this season, of course.
Arsenal attempted to spend big in central midfield in January when moving for Brighton’s Moises Caicedo.
Ultimately, they were made to settle for Jorginho after Brighton made it clear they would not entertain a mid-season sale at any price.
The money is clearly there for Arsenal and come the summer, may find its way to West Ham.
THREE PREM SIDES CHASING ARSENAL WINGER
Arsenal have offered back-up winger Reiss Nelson a new deal, though there are growing fears he’ll leave to join one of three Premier League rivals this summer, per a report.
Nelson, 23, has been restricted to just five league appearances this term through a variety of injuries. He’s certainly made an impression in his rare outings, with three goals and two assists bagged in that short span. His last-minute winner against Bournemouth will never be forgotten.
However, Nelson is out of contract at season’s end and if he ever wishes to become a regular starter, may have to leave the Emirates. Indeed, displacing Bukayo Saka on his favoured right wing is a near-impossible task.
According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal have put a contract extension to Nelson that would include a raise on his £35,000-a-week wages. However, Nelson is yet to put pen to paper and will not lack for options if he decides to leave.
Indeed, the Mail list Aston Villa, Fulham, West Ham and Brighton as being prepared to swoop for the would-be free agent. From further afield, Serie A giant AC Milan are also monitoring his situation.