Media Digest: One mooted Liverpool transfer move is set to be ‘blocked’ as things stand, but there is ‘stand-out’ interest in Nicolò Barella from Jürgen Klopp.
Nicolò Barella certainly qualifies as a name to watch this summer for Liverpool. Mentioned on and off in connection with a transfer for over a year, it’s common knowledge that Jürgen Klopp and the rest of the backroom staff admire him.
Pep Lijnders has been vociferous in his praise before, as has Klopp himself. He once called Barella ‘top class’, and it’s not a major leap to suggest he would be open to adding the Italian to the Liverpool engine room.
The biggest question mark is probably where this fits into Liverpool’s other midfield transfer plans. The pursuit of Jude Bellingham makes the club’s views on Barella look like the best-kept secret in football, and it’s hard to envisage a summer where both join at once. Quite apart from cost, the duo profile similarly, and having them as part of the same trio would not necessarily be the solution to the soft center from which Klopp’s side have suffered.
Still, the Bellingham pursuit is far from a foregone conclusion, which makes Barella very much an active possibility. That seems to be the view of Calciomercato, which reports that Liverpool’s interest in the midfielder ‘undoubtedly stands out’.
Now 26, he is older than the typical FSG transfer target, but would also aptly fill the void between youth and veteran that currently exists in the Liverpool squad. However, the report claims that only one of Barella and Marcelo Brozović will be allowed to leave in the summer, which could complicate any pursuit.
Liverpool transfer ‘blocked’
One player who could plausibly have been signed alongside someone like Bellingham or Barella is Ryan Gravenberch. Having endured a hugely peripheral season at Bayern Munich, it seemed the former Ajax wonderkid could have been a relatively budget addition.
But the situation in Bavaria has changed. Out with Julian Nagelsmann, in with Thomas Tuchel. It always seemed possible that this could cause a transfer shake-up.
There are conflicting reports as to whether this will affect Liverpool’s pursuit of Mason Mount, but the latest story does appear to preclude a move for Gravenberch, at least for the time being. According to Ben Jacobs at TeamTalk, Tuchel is going to give every player a chance to prove themselves, and does not wish to be rushed into any snap decisions, which means the Dutchman is no longer on the market at present.
Of course, this is a fluid situation. But there is said to be an acceptance that because of the limited time left in the campaign, this kind of ‘trial period’ will extend into pre-season, which could effectively block a summer transfer away from Gravenberch. So often the masters of ‘monitoring’, Liverpool will surely keep an eye on developments, but what looked like it could be a mutually beneficial situation has now all but evaporated.