If Liverpool fans needed something to get over the midweek hump, it was provided yesterday in the form of more transfer intrigue. After weeks of tossing around a few names and precious little by way of real updates on them, a new candidate has emerged — with a clock attached to add to the drama.
The news comes from David Ornstein at The Athletic, with his report claiming that Liverpool have an interest in RB Leipzig’s Dominik Szoboszlai. Adding fuel to the fire, Fabricius Roman then again shared his own information that the player has a release clause that expires after June 30.
It’s an interesting clause that will then be reactivated in January, so Liverpool won’t necessarily want to rush into a bid. A figure of $77m (£61m/€70m) may be felt to be too high, preferring rather than negotiating. But while the club recognizes that it is a complicated deal to conclude, Szoboszlai is ‘high on [the club’s] thinking’.
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So he should be. Indeed, Szoboszlai would be part of the ideal transfer window for Liverpool, with the club having already signed Alexis Mac Allister. The Hungarian is a great stylistic match for former priority target Mason Mount, has come through the Red Bull school, and looks ready for one of Jürgen Klopp’s new twin advanced number eight roles.
We have previously written that a more specialized defensive presence is required to form an ideal Liverpool transfer window. But with Szoboszlai, Klopp is preparing a number eight to do more than his fair share of the dirty work. Also, Mac Allister is no stranger to that side of the game, having even played as a number six before. As two in front of Fabinho, they will provide plenty of protection, allowing the Reds to delay a decision in that area of the field for at least another season.
Even with two such smart additions, Liverpool must still land a third new midfielder. But with Szoboszlai and Mac Allister both making quality starts, the next in the door could come in with less pressure, and more emphasis on potential. There the more familiar names return, with the club choosing from the likes of Khéphren Thuram, Gabri Veiga and Ryan Gravenberch.
If it would be possible to prize the latter from Bayern Munich, that would be perfect. Gravenberch has always looked like the perfect ‘third addition’ midfielder: high potential, but with a bit of risk attached. After all, he hasn’t even played this year. But at the same time, he earned his wonderkid status at Ajax, and could make Klopp incredible.
If the price of just $28m (£22m/€25m) quoted by Fichajes is even remotely accurate, Liverpool should be pushed hard. The actual figure would certainly be higher if a deal could be agreed, with Bayern Munich only paying slightly less than that to sign him last summer, but FSG wouldn’t have to break the bank either . A bigger obstacle is the potential reluctance in Bavaria to release him.
Finally, Liverpool cannot afford to neglect the defence, and the perfect summer would see the club get ahead of a potential issue by signing a young new centre-back with plenty of potential. A more mentioned name is Micky van de Ven, and he seems to fit the bill, although there seems to be competition from Spurs. If the Reds can win that race, they will have to pay around $33m (£26m/€30m) to Wolfsburg, per Goal.
Those three deals will have a total cost of $138m (£109m/€126m), on top of what has already been spent on Mac Allister. That is obviously a very significant transfer window for FSG, especially with no major exits expected, but there is an acceptance that rebuilding is needed. True quality cannot be had for less.
It remains to be seen how far Liverpool are willing to go. But with this latest Szoboszlai link, the perfect transfer window becomes clearer.
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