Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Liverpool’s Top Transfer Target Slapped With €80m Price Tag: Should Klopp Continue His Pursuit?

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

Liverpool have been quite surprisingly swift in locking their transfer targets down, ahead of their Premier League rivals as they have already added English striker Dominic Solanke and former Serie A winger Mohamed Salah to their squad within a month. But the real crisis for the Reds has always been their midfield and defence, which still looks understaffed.

Jurgen Klopp faced a huge predicament midseason last term when he had to replace skipper Jordan Henderson as he was ruled out of the season with an injury. With James Milner pushed behind to the left back’s role, the boss had to allow sufficient time to Emre Can to soak up to the pressure in the midfield.

By the time, the German international found things going his way alongside Georginio Wijnaldum, the title race was over and all Liverpool could do was fight for the top four. And although they did achieve it, it looked far from an easy task for them. Although the two signings Klopp has done haven’t solved their main problems, it would be wrong to state he hasn’t tried plugging the gaps in his midfield earlier.

The Liverpool boss has been a great admirer of RP Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita for long now and had even placed in an early bid to land him. Earlier reports had also indicated that the Reds were confident of signing him. Recent reports, however, claim the exact opposite as German publication Bild has reported that the Bundesliga side has labelled their cherished midfielder at a whopping €80 million.

The price tag surely puts Liverpool out of the race, as they have just brought in Roma winger Mohamed Salah for around €42 million. Liverpool still going on to bid that amount would mean Klopp spending much more than the club usually do, and it could backfire enormously. It is clear that the Bundesliga outfit, who also take part in the Champions League next season as Liverpool, do not want to part ways with the player. And Liverpool do not hold any edge over them to lure him to Anfield.

Very similar to Ligue 1 Champions AS Monaco, Leipzig has seen a stormy emergence in the Bundesliga last season. And akin to them, almost every player of the side has caught the attention of top clubs making them hot transfer prospects this summer. While retaining their star players, like most sides would be their prime objective, Leipzig’s strong financial backing leaves them with no trouble at all.

Naby Keita has bagged eight goals and assisted the same times last season in all competitions, acting as the beating heart of the squad. However, Liverpool’s history with highly-rated transfers, for example, Andy Carroll, would advise against going any further for a player who has been a one-season wonder so far.

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