After Record Breaking Alisson Deal, What’s Next for Liverpool?
Just before the weekend, Liverpool signed Roma goalkeeper Alisson for a world record fee of £67 million. It was long known that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was keen to sign him, and the team needed a new keeper after Loris Karius’ confidence was shattered in the Champions League final.
While the signing may have stolen all of the weekend’s headlines, Alisson is by no means the only player that Liverpool are hoping to sign before the end of the transfer window in about three weeks’ time. Here we take a look at some of the Reds’ other likely transfer targets over the coming weeks.
Nabil Fekir – Lyon
It is well known that Liverpool are extremely eager to bring Nabil Fekir in from Lyon. They thought that they had secured a deal back in June, and had agreed to pay a fee of £53 million for the 25 year old. Fekir even underwent a medical examination and agreed personal terms with the team; he then posed in a Liverpool shirt for the club’s official TV channel. However, the deal then collapsed.
Since then Fekir has been in Russia helping France to win the World Cup, but this hasn’t prevent rumours of a possible resuscitation of the deal. While the rumours have mainly been in the French press, they still persist. However, it has been reported recently that it is unlikely that Fekir will make the move this summer. Furthermore, it is thought that clubs such as Real Madrid are preparing to make an offer. Nonetheless, anything is possible in the transfer window so it is worth keeping an eye on.
Moses Simon – Gent
While Moses Simon is not as famous as some of Liverpool’s other transfer targets, he is certainly of interest. Simon currently plays with Gent in Belgium and was left out of Nigeria’s World Cup campaign due to injury.
Gent has just one year remaining on his deal, and Liverpool have looked at the 23 year old as a potential bargain. Despite this, sources at Anfield did reveal to Goal.com that he would need to develop significantly before he would have a regular place on the first team.
Earlier in the summer, Liverpool signed Xherdan Shaqiri, who, like Simon, can play on both wings. As a result, they may no longer be as interested in signing him, but if they can get him for a good price then there is every chance that they will.
Jan Oblak – Atletico Madrid
Liverpool have already signed one goalkeeper but they may be looking for a backup. Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak is considered by many to be the best around. His form over the last four years has been excellent and he was a key part of the team’s success in winning the Europa League back in May.
Liverpool are known to have examined the possibility of tempting the 25 year old away from Spain, but concluded, like many other teams, that it is highly unlikely. Oblak has a release clause in his contract which is through to be around £87 million, if they were to pay this then Oblak would become the world’s most expensive goalkeeper, despite Liverpool setting the record just last week.
Furthermore, there has been no suggestion that Oblak wants to leave Atletico and the club are understood to be eager to increase the release clause in his contract.
Overall, it seems highly unlikely that this deal will happen.
Christian Pulisic – Borussia Dortmund
Liverpool played Borussia Dortmund in the International Champions Cup in Charlotte, USA over the weekend and will have come face to face with Christian Pulisic.
Jurgen Klopp was in charge of the German team when they signed Pulisic in 2015, but he left before the American player had developed into a real first team option. Nonetheless, Klopp has been carefully following the 19 year old’s progress ever since, and is known to be a huge admirer of him.
Just this weekend Klopp said, “I like Christian, I’ve known him since he was a kid. He’s still not really old, he’s a fantastic player, and it’s deserved people think highly of him in America.”
Liverpool tried to sign Pulisic in 2016 but Borussia Dortmund refused to sell him. If the opportunity arose to buy him this summer then Klopp would likely jump at it. However, while praising Pulisic, he also said, “If he wants to play in England or whatever one day then for sure he has the chance to do so but he’s at a really good club for his development at this moment. It’s really good to be at a club where they know him already. He had not his best season last year but he was still a decisive player but it’s important in that age group that there’s no rush.He still has 14 or 15 years to play in his career and that’s good and he wants to be the best Pulisic he can be. For this, there is still space for development. If, at one point he will join us, I don’t know. I like him, it’s not that that could be the problem, but we respect contracts still and there’s no market I know about at the moment. We did our business and Dortmund are doing theirs. All good.”
Piotr Zielinski – Napoli
Two years ago it looked like Liverpool were set to sign Piotr Zielinski from Napoli. However, they ran into problems while dealing with his then-club Udinese, who in the end decided to sell him to Napoli instead.
Since then Zielinski has had moments of brilliance, but he hasn’t yet managed to secure a regular spot in the starting team.
Liverpool are eager to add an extra goal-scoring threat to their attacking midfield, and they still have funds after the mega sale of Philippe Coutinho earlier in the year. As a result, it is possible that they will have another look at Zielinski to see if they can complete a deal.
Julian Brandt – Bayer Leverkusen
Bayer Leverkusen’s Julian Brandt has long been on the radar of Liverpool’s recruitment team and they kept an especially close eye on him in the 2016-17 season. In the end they decided to sign Mohamed Salah from Roma instead of Brandt, a decision they certainly will not have regretted.
However, this does not mean that they are no longer interested in the 22 year old, and they continued to watch Brandt last season. Brandt is capable of playing anywhere across the attacking line, a trait that Klopp is known to admire, and he was one of the few players to have impressed in Germany’s poor World Cup campaign.
However, Leverkusen are likely to ask for a very large fee, and Brandt may not be guaranteed a starting place, so he may not be interested.
Domagoj Vida – Besiktas
After Domagoj Vida’s impressive World Cup campaign with Croatia, it is not surprising that a number of European clubs have expressed interest in him. He stood out along with his teammate Dejan Lovren as the side enjoyed an unexpected run to the final, and now he looks set to be signed by a major club.
The Turkish media have linked Liverpool with Vida, but there have also been reports that Liverpool are unlikely to recruit a central defender this summer. They already have Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip as senior options, and Joe Gomez and Ragnar Klavan can provide plenty of cover.
Furthermore, at 29 years old, Vida doesn’t fit the usual profile of players that Klopp looks to recruit.
Kai Havertz – Bayer Leverkusen
There seems to be no shortage of teenagers impressing in the Bundesliga at the moment, and Kai Havertz has certainly drawn attention to himself over the last 18 months. At just 19 years old, Havertz has performed exceptionally well for Leverkusen and scouts from across the continent have come to watch him.
Liverpool are certainly among those who have been keeping track of the forward’s progress and have been making regular checks on the German youth international.
Havertz may not yet be ready to be a first team option for Liverpool, especially given how much Leverkusen are likely to ask for him, but his talent and versatility are sure to appeal to Klopp.
Julian Draxler – Paris Saint Germain
Liverpool made a bit for Julian Draxler when he left Wolfsburg for PSG in January 2017, and there are signs that he may be on the move again this summer.
Draxler is capable of playing wide and centrally, and he has played for good Bundesliga clubs such as Schalke and Woflsburg.
PSG may be spending big again this summer, they have been linked with Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante, so Draxler’s options may be limited. He is likely to cost a lot, but it is well known that Klopp is a fan of his.