Liverpool have been linked with Evan Ndicka with the Eintracht Frankfurt defender currently free to sign a pre-contract agreement.
Liverpool have signed just seven players on free transfers during Jurgen Klopp’s reign at Anfield, but recent reports suggest the Reds could add to that tally this summer.
Jude Bellingham remains their first-choice target, and would cost a club-record fee over £100m if Liverpool were to lure him to Anfield. Meanwhile, plotting a midfield revamp, the England international wouldn’t be the only new arrival in the engine-room, if signed, with the Reds continuing to find themselves linked with Matheus Nunes and Mason Mount.
In need of three new midfielders, such business could admittedly cost around £200m. And with Liverpool’s hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League currently uncertain, it remains to be seen what finances the Reds will even be working with in the transfer market.
While midfield is the priority, it isn’t the only position Klopp will need to recruit in this summer. A new back-up goalkeeper and a new centre-back are also arguably required, ahead of potential exits for Caoimhin Kelleher, Nat Phillips and Joel Matip.
If Liverpool have spent big elsewhere, the funds might not be there for further big-money signings in positions which aren’t as high up their list of priorities. As a result, the Reds could benefit from Bosman transfers.
Historically when Liverpool move for an out-of-contract player, it tends to be either a back-up goalkeeper or a highly-talented youngster who would still command a compensation fee. From Klopp’s seven free agents signed since October 2015, Alex Manninger, Adrian, and Andy Lonergan ticked the former box, with Dominic Solanke, Harvey Elliott, and Fabio Carvalho all fulfilling the latter.
As a result, that leaves Matip as the only big-name Bosman transfer completed under Klopp’s watch, with the Reds confirming they had signed a pre-contract agreement with the defender in February 2016.
But now reports suggest Liverpool could replace the Cameroonian in similar fashion, as they continue to be linked with a move for Eintracht Frankfurt defender Evan Ndicka.
The 23-year-old is a pacey left-sided centre-back, who can also cover at left-back or in defensive midfield. A Europa League winner with Eintracht Frankfurt last season, he earned valuable Champions League experience with the Bundesliga outfit during the current campaign as a result.
Standing at 6ft 3, he is a threat at set-pieces and scored four goals in the Bundesliga last season. Meanwhile, he’s also comfortable on the ball and played alongside Reds defender Ibrahima Konate before for France in their youth ranks.
In other words, he ticks a lot of boxes. And he’s set to be available on a free transfer this summer after turning down a final contract offer from Frankfurt. A further attractive trait, of course, especially as it would enable Liverpool to commit further transfer funds to midfield signings.
Now inside the final three months of his contract, interested clubs are free to hold talks with Ndicka without needing the permission of the Bundesliga side. As a result, if Klopp is interested in the 23-year-old, there is nothing stopping Reds bosses coming to an agreement and signing the defender now on a pre-contract agreement.
Of course, Liverpool aren’t the only ones reportedly interested in the centre-back with Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Barcelona, and Paris Saint-Germain also said to be monitoring his situation.
Meanwhile, while the Reds or any other interested club is free to agree to sign Ndicka now, he would still complete the season with Frankfurt before officially moving on at the end of his contract.
But with Liverpool finding themselves increasingly linked with the France youth international, he could become their first signing of the summer before the transfer window has even opened.