Liverpool transfer news: The Reds could capitalize on the financial woes of a Champions League giant as a midfield target emerges following behind-the-scenes talks.
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said in the run-up to Saturday’s victory at Newcastle United that the club is in ‘constant talks’ ahead of the summer transfer window.
Klopp told Sky Sports that failing to qualify for the Champions League — his team is currently in eighth place, six points off the top four with a game in hand — would make things more ‘difficult’ but stressed that it’s ‘100 per cent clear’ that ‘we have to make changes’. He vowed that business ‘will happen’ but said the number of incomings was ‘out of his hands’.
The priority seems to be addressing the club’s much-maligned midfield, especially with James Milner, Naby Keïta and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain currently set to leave when they reach the end of their contracts.
But an addition may also be needed in the heart of the defense, with suggestions (via Goal) that the club may look to offload center-back Joël Matip this summer, one year before the deal.
Here, Liverpool.com rounds up the latest rumors and gossip from around the world and gives our verdict on each of them, with some interesting names being linked.
Giorgio Scalvini (Atalanta)
Liverpool is battling arch-rival Manchester United for the signature of Atalanta defender Giorgio Scalvini, according to Corriere della Serra.
The Reds will need to establish a clear picture of their center-back roster before they make a move, but Klopp has been ‘following the growth’ of Scalvini.
Manchester United has begun exploring a deal too, while Manchester City may fall out of the race in the wake of its Premier League charges.
Chelsea also harbors a ‘very serious’ interest, while Bayern Munich has shown its admiration in the past.
It’s expected that Scalvini will cost in excess of $43m (£36m/€40m), a figure that will put him beyond the reach of every top Serie A side except perhaps Napoli.
The Italian has started 15 of Atalanta’s 22 matches in the league this season and been capped three times for Italy.
Liverpool.com says: If Liverpool wants an elite young talent to replace Matip, then Scalvini would be an excellent option for a price that doesn’t look excessive.
Luka Sučić (Red Bull Salzburg)
Liverpool has identified Red Bull Salzburg Luka Sučić as a potential midfield target, according to Football Transfers.
The Reds have drawn up a ‘preliminary list’ of candidates after internal conservations, and Sučić’s name features.
Significantly, the 20-year-old is believed to have a ‘low release clause’, with one source suggesting it may be between $16m (£13m/€15m) and $21m (£18m/€20m).
Sučić has made 22 appearances so far this season, five of them in the Champions League group stage, and provided four assists.
He’s already won four caps for the Croatia national team but was an unused substitute throughout its recent World Cup campaign, which ended in a third-place finish.
Liverpool.com says: Sučićis one of the most exciting young midfielders in Europe and while he hasn’t necessarily been tested consistently at the highest level, a low price tag would mitigate the risk for Liverpool.
Nicolò Barella (Inter Milan)
Liverpool could capitalize on Inter Milan’s financial problems to do a deal for Nicolò Barella, Fichajes reports.
Inter ‘needs to make sales’ this summer to ‘try to solve its economic situation’, with Marcelo Brozović and Denzel Dumfries earmarked as likely sources of funds.
But if it fails to reach the Champions League, it might have to offload even more players.
Inter is currently second in the league, six points above fifth-place Atalanta, but there are still 15 games to go.
The Nerazzurri could make ‘a lot of money’ by selling Barella because ‘he still has a long-term contract’ that runs until the summer of 2026.
‘Several important teams’ have him ‘in their sights’, including Liverpool.
Liverpool.com says: If Liverpool is unable to sign Jude Bellingham this summer, then Barella would represent perhaps the best available alternative.