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Liverpool’s dream summer window with £170m midfield plan and FOUR free transfers

Members of the ECHO’s sports team assess what their dream Liverpool window would be this coming summer.


Liverpool are fast approaching what is being viewed as one of the most pivotal transfer windows in their recent history.


With the need to rebuild becoming a glaring one at Anfield, the Reds continue to be linked with a host of midfielders, including primary target Jude Bellingham.


Here, the ECHO’s sport team assess what would represent Liverpool’s realistic ‘dream window’.


Paul Gorst: Five in as midfield undergoes major reconstruction

The question is just how much money will be available for Liverpool to spend this summer? Right now, with Champions League participation uncertain and owners Fenway Sports Group continuing to assess the merits of potential investors, that is a major poser that few even on the inside will know presently.


Let’s assume, for argument’s sake, funds have been reserved for a certain England international at Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool will still need to undergo further surgery on their midfield options even if Jude Bellingham breaks the club record sum of £75m that was paid for Virgil van Dijk in 2018.


Bellingham has the potential to be a revelation at Anfield. At the age 19, capturing him from Dortmund this summer will give the Reds a midfield general for much of the next decade, if he develops as his first few years in senior football have suggested. Therefore, there are few qualms here about making him Liverpool’s first-ever £100m-plus player.


The issue is just how much is left in the kitty if Bellingham can be snared ahead of fellow suitors Real Madrid and Manchester City? Joao Palhinha is someone who has excelled in his maiden campaign in the Premier League.

The Portugal international only joined Fulham last summer for £17m from Sporting but has been a driving force behind a surprise push for the European places under Marco Silva this season. He currently tops the league’s list for tackles and duels won and the defensive midfielder has become integral at Craven Cottage. Liverpool have a good relationship with Palhinha’s Gestifute agency, who also represent Fabinho, Diogo Jota and Fabio Carvalho, which is an important factor.

Newcastle’s Bruno Guimaraes would be a sensational purchase but prising the Brazilian out of the north east might prove beyond Liverpool this summer. If Mason Mount can be lured away from Chelsea at a reasonable price, he is someone who can add another dimension to the midfield area. At the age of 24, Mount’s best years could still be ahead of him and he could become something of the ‘new Adam Lallana’ at Anfield under Klopp: a versatile and technically adept midfielder who can fulfill a number of roles.

Youri Tielemans, at Leicester City, is someone who intrigues, given his soon-to-be status as a free agent. For a squad in desperate need of quality midfielders at a club who aren’t awash with hundreds of millions, the Belgium international is certainly worth assessing.

And given this is something of a (relatively realistic) dream scenario, goalkeeper Samir Handanovic can join as a free agent from Inter this summer to provide experienced and quality back-up to Alisson Becker to fill the ‘Adrian role’ within the Liverpool squad.

Theo Squires: Two huge deals and four free transfers

Liverpool are in need of a big summer transfer window if they are to ensure this transitional period lasts just one season, with a midfield revamp very much their top priority.

With Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Juventus loanee Arthur Melo set to depart, James Milner potentially joining them, and Fabinho soon joining the Reds vice-captain, Jordan Henderson and, Thiago Alcantara on the wrong side of 30, ideally Liverpool will bring in three new midfielders this summer.

Looking at the attacking overhaul for guidance, Reds bosses brought in Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez, Fabio Carvalho, and Cody Gakpo – four players with their peak years still firmly in front of them. As a result, you’d expect a similar profile of player to be targeted in midfield.

Jude Bellingham is the obvious dream signing, even for a club-record fee, while it would be a shrewd piece of business if Liverpool could take advantage of Mason Mount’s contract impasse at Chelsea to snap up the England international too. £170m could possibly land the pair of them.

Stefan Bajcetic’s emergence, along with Fabinho’s recent performances suggesting he isn’t finished yet, make a new natural number six not quite as vital. As a result, long-standing target Matheus Nunes can be the third midfield signing. However, if Gavi is really forced to leave Barcelona on a free transfer, the Reds have to be part of that conversation.

A new centre-back is definitely needed and Evan Ndicka ticks all the boxes. Snapping him up on a free transfer would be another shrewd deal. Elsewhere, Liverpool do need another goalkeeper with Caoimhin Kelleher and Adrian poised to depart. An Anfield return for Pepe Reina on a free, anyone?

Such business will be enough to improve Klopp’s squad this summer, but there could be an argument for a new right-back if the right opportunity became available. If Leicester City suffer relegation, perhaps England international James Justin is worth a look?

And let’s throw in a new forward too, with Mohamed Salah set for Africa Cup of Nations duty once again come January. Reiss Nelson is out of contract at Arsenal, the 23-year-old would be a solid squad option and help bolster that homegrown quota even further

Keifer MacDonald: Declan Rice would be ideal for midfield boost

Regardless of where Liverpool finish the Premier League season, there will be an excess of loose ends for the outgoing Julian Ward and his eventual successor to tie up before the September transfer deadline.

While plenty of uncertainty surrounds Jurgen Klopp and his side, as well as the direction of Fenway Sports Group’s tenure as owners, one thing that cannot be questioned is the pressing need for a major injection of quality in the months ahead.

Of course, Jude Bellingham remains the Reds’ primary target with Klopp, Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold all publically expressing their admiration for a player who has tallied nearly 200 professional appearances before his 20th birthday.

Should Liverpool beat both Manchester City and Real Madrid to the most coveted signature in world football, it will not only provide a much-needed increase of quality into the midfield ranks but also future-proof a section of the squad that has witnessed Thiago Alcantara and Henderson pass the wrong side of 30 in recent years.

At 19, the England ace has featured heavily in the Champions League and Bundesliga for Dortmund as well as becoming the Yellows’ youngest captain in their history. Even at north of £100m, Bellingham’s Galactico-like qualities would hand Klopp the most dreamed-of trump card as the German looks to navigate Liverpool back to the heights of the English and European game.

As has been Gareth Southgate’s go-to midfield pairing over the last twelve months, an equally as impressive swoop for West Ham captain Declan Rice would go some way to easing the burden that has unfairly rested on the shoulders of Fabinho and Stefan Bajcetic at contrasting stages of their respective careers this season.

With midfield additions expected to consume a considerable amount of Liverpool’s kitty, the mooted arrival of soon-to-be free agent Evan Ndicka would provide further depth in defence, with Joel Matip’s future on Merseyside a serious topic of conversation as he is set to enter the final 12 months of his contract.

Meanwhile, the possible signing of German veteran and soon-to-be free agent of Ron-Robert Zieler, who attains a home-grown status from his time at Manchester United, would help combat the loss of Adrian as third-choice. However, the possible departure of Caoimhin Kelleher would no doubt force the Reds back into the market for a more respected addition to their goalkeeping ranks.

Andrew Beasley: Bellingham not the only big name

For many supporters, a dream transfer window is one in which their club spends more than any other. If Liverpool complete the signing of Jude Bellingham this summer, they may well fall into this category ahead of 2023/24.

But as great as the Borussia Dortmund man is – and he’s the most sought-after player likely to move this year – would it be an ideal window for the Reds if he was their only signing? No.

As we’re talking dream scenarios here, of course Bellingham is lining up for a lean at Kirkby this summer. The other business is arguably more interesting though, as he can’t solve all the issues.

Liverpool’s best windows, the summers from 2016 to 2018, followed broadly similar patterns: a superstar, someone from a relegated side, maybe a player you didn’t expect and a smart low-cost signing, with these lines occasionally blurring into each other.

Bellingham would obviously fulfil the first role, and maybe James Ward-Prowse could tick the Championship-bound box. Not the most exciting signing, perhaps, but he’s played for ‘the Alpine Klopp’ and can score from outside the box, which is something the Reds have largely lost.

They also need the Fabinho they had in, say, 2019/20. According to FBRef this could be Declan Rice (pie in the sky?) or Ruben Neves (more likely). Someone of that ilk who can take some heat in central midfield while Stefan Bajcetic continues developing, anyway.

And having researched him following the recent links, Evan Ndicka would be a cracking free transfer to freshen up the backline. He’s played with Ibrahima Konate, carries the ball well and is really creative for a centre-back.


More than anything, a truly perfect summer would involve several players joining and hitting the ground immediately. It won’t be easy.

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