Transfer Gossip: Klopp targets African striker as £30m Firmino heir at Liverpool; Xavi speaks out on new Barcelona, Man Utd transfer rumours

Barcelona's Franck Kessie, left, fights for the ball with Sevilla's Youssef En-Nesyri during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Barcelona and Sevilla at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona

Liverpool are chasing a top LaLiga striker as a replacement for Roberto Firmino, fresh claims linking a Barcelona star to Man Utd have prompted a reaction from Xavi, while Monday’s Transfer Gossip claims Chelsea are battling Newcastle for a £60m attacker.


Jurgen Klopp is stepping up his plans for life after Roberto Firmino by targeting his replacement at Liverpool, according to reports.

The Reds have endured a topsy-turvy season with it arguably reaching a new nadir on Saturday in a 1-0 loss at Bournemouth.

And their lacklustre display served as a stark reminder as to why Liverpool need to embark on a summer rebuilding programme.

The main priority at Anfield will be focused around fixing their midfield. Jude Bellingham remains their top target, but he won’t be the only player targeted with two additions sought. To that end, Klopp is being linked with a huge number of midfielders.

This article looks at the 46 midfielders linked to the Reds already.

However, the first exit at Anfield this summer is likely to come in attack. That’s after popular forward Firmino revealed he would be departing Merseyside at the end of his contract.

He will walk away as a bone fida club legend after eight, largely wonderful, seasons at the club.

And with five other strikers at his disposal, Klopp was initially not expected to sign a replacement.

However, the likes of Cody Gakpo, Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz are largely accustomed to playing off the wings. And with only really Darwin Nunez a recognised No 9, reports in Spain now claim Klopp has his eyes on another.


And the man Klopp wants to bring is reportedly Sevilla striker Youssef En-Nesyri.

The Moroccan has established himself as one of the leading forwards in LaLiga.

Indeed, the 25-year-old has 47 goals in 128 games during his four seasons for the Andalusian club.

Frequently linked with West Ham, reports claim a move to Liverpool could now be on the cards.

Sevilla have struggled badly this season and are currently flirting with relegation. That’s some drop-off from their title push for the majority of last season.

As a result, the club are ready for a major rebuild of their own – and En-Nesyri could be the main victim.

Reports claim they are seeking a fee of around £30m (€34m), which has caught Klopp’s attention.

And if a payment package can be agreed, then the 57-times capped striker could well find himself heading to Anfield.

READ MOREKlopp told top two Liverpool targets will cost ‘minimum of £180m’ as oracle claims 184-game star ‘could leave’


Xavi has addressed fresh rumours that Frenkie de Jong is heading for Manchester United this summer.

The Netherlands midfielder was the subject of an intense chase by United that last several weeks last summer. And while De Jong ultimately got his wish in staying, speculation has arisen again that a fresh move could be on the cards.

Indeed, Erik ten Hag reportedly remains desperate to bring in his former Ajax protege. And he seemingly sees him as the ideal midfield foil for Casemiro.

Furthermore, with Barcelona’s finances again coming under the microscope, there are growing theories that Barcelona could cash in.

Those rumours reached fever pitch last week when Dwight Yorke claimed privately that De Jong would not rule out a move to Old Trafford.

“I actually spoke to Frenkie de Jong when we played against him in the A-League All-Stars game in Australia,” Yorke explained, via the Daily Mirror. “I have a little bit of insight, he wanted to see what Barcelona would become under the new guidance of Xavi and see how that panned out before he decided if he wanted to join Manchester United.

“But there is a Dutch connection with Erik ten Hag. And De Jong would be a great pick because he’s an excellent player. He would be the player that would fit into that midfield next to Casemiro and give us a bit more stability. Manchester United would have a very solid core to the team if he was to join.”

Xavi sends clear De Jong message to Man Utd

However, Xavi is adamant he wants to retain De Jong’s services.

And after watching him produce another midfield masterclass on Sunday night, the Barcelona boss made it clear exactly what he thinks of the player.

“De Jong has been at an extraordinary level for months,” Xavi raved after the win at San Mames. “He gives us a lot. He breaks lines of pressure, he drives forward.. he is one of the best midfielders in the world. He’s spectacular.”

READ MORETen Hag savaged over big Man Utd transfer mistake with deals for Leeds, Arsenal stars deemed superior


Barcelona’s matchwinner on Sunday night was Raphinha. And with five goals in his last 10 games, including back-to-back winners, no-one is playing better than the Brazilian right now.

Indeed, he is finally starting to justify his hefty £58m fee from Leeds last summer.

Despite that, there is growing speculation that Barcelona may have to cash in on the winger.

Indeed, with the club needing to raise some €200m this summer, reports suggest they may have to sacrifice the former Leeds man.

Barcelona winger Raphinha

Now, according to Sport, both Chelsea and Newcastle are ready to pay big money to bring Raphinha back to England.

Per the report, the pair are both monitoring his situation at the Nou Camp should Barca decide to sell.

Despite Raphinha’s brilliance, they are very well off for forward talent. And all of Ousmane Dembele, Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres can play on the right-sided position Raphinha favours.

As such, Sport suggests a mammoth offer could convince them to cash in. And a bid in excess of what Barca paid last summer could see the player allowed to move on.

Raphinha, for his part, though, will have no desire to leave. He made clear last summer that he was fulfilling a dream signing for Barcelona. And there was no other club he wanted to join, including Chelsea, once Leeds made it clear he’d be allowed to leave.

READ MOREChelsea flop who ‘cost a fortune’ could ‘still have a future’ if he goes about things correctly