As summer approaches, an air of uncertainty and optimism is prevailing over the Merseyside as to who will walk down the famous Anfield tunnel as Jurgen Klopp’s first significant investment in the Liverpool squad. With 2 signings already done and dusted, we take a look at 7 new faces that can join them in donning the famous red shirt of the Anfield faithful.
Liverpool is increasingly optimistic of completing the blockbuster signing of Mario Götze this transfer window with the World Cup winner understood to be hell-bound on a reunion with his former coach Jürgen Klopp.
The Liverpool boss has singled out Götze as the number one transfer target for the end of the season and the Anfield hierarchy is increasingly confident of clinching the signature of the Memmingen born 23-year-old. The attacking midfielder’s progress has stalled at Bayern Munich, where he has made only 18 appearances this campaign, and he is eagerly awaiting a move away from the Bavarian giants despite the forthcoming arrival of Carlo Ancelotti as Pep Guardiola’s successor.
The Allianz Arena side wants almost £30m-£32m for the player they acquired from Borussia Dortmund in 2013 but the Merseysiders hope a deal can be reached for £18m-£20m. That valuation is based on Götze having only a year left on his current contract and Bayern’s unwillingness to offer him an extension.
Polish midfielder Piotr Zielinski has made no secret of his desire to join Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool revolution. He is set to be a pivotal element in Poland’s Euro 2016 campaign and asserts that will be an opportunity to earn himself a move to a bigger club.
Presently on loan to the Italian side Empoli from Udinese since the start of last season, Zielinski has voiced his adoration for Philippe Coutinho and confesses he has inquired about Jurgen Klopp ahead of a potential move.
The 21-year-old signed from Zaglebie Lubin in 2011, has been an excellent performer in Serie A. He has dazzled at Stadio Carlo Castellani, notching four goals and laying on four assists in 30 appearances, helping solidify their position in Italy’s top flight.
Zielinski has chiefly been used as a central midfielder during his time at Empoli, often in an attacking role. However, the technically gifted can also operate out wide on the wings as well, or in the space behind a lone striker.
Most importantly, though, if Liverpool is really interested in luring away the youngster to Anfield for next season and beyond, they need to get the deal done and dusted before the tournament gets underway in June, rather than risk him exploding in France and his price increasing.
One of the key problem areas for Liverpool in recent years has been at left back. As summer approaches, Jürgen Klopp will be targeting a solution to the club’s long-standing dilemma.
With Jonas Hector of FC Köln emerging as a potential transfer target, the German could be the perfect answer to this disputed position during the summer.
A physical, robust full-back, standing tall at 6ft 1in, Hector represents the perfect alternate for the attack-minded Moreno, taking a more conventional, defensive-happy approach on the left flank.
But while his key strengths come in his own half, Hector is a versatile left-back capable of pushing forward and joining attacks with astute passing play.
With a reported price tag of £10m- £12m lingering over his head, Hector is something of a no-brainer purchase for Liverpool this summer, given the scarcity of genuine world-class left-backs around Europe.
Liverpool faces stiff competition to sign Mahmoud Dahoud, Borussia Möchengladbach’s highly-rated midfielder.
The Syrian-born Germany Under-21 international has attracted widespread attention during his breakthrough overwhelming season in the Bundesliga, where he has caught the eye of several top European clubs having starred alongside captain and Swiss enforcer Granit Xhaka in the German top-flight side’s midfield.
Dahoud, who is being watched by Jürgen Klopp, is also wanted by Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham Hotspur.
The promising 20-year-old although shares an agent with German players already on Liverpool’s books Emre Can and Samed Yesil, a deal is still unlikely unless the Merseyside club qualifies for next season’s Champions League even though he is aware of the interest shown in him from Anfield.
Möchengladbach is presumed to be unwilling to listen to any offers for Xhaka or Dahoud, but may back-pedal should a close season scramble lead to offers of around £25m-£30m for the latter.
A former Fortuna Dusseldorf academy prospect, he has developed himself as a box-to-box midfielder, competent in providing dynamism, creativity, and energy in the middle of the pitch. He has scored 4 goals and notched up 7 assists in his 28 Bundesliga appearances so far this season.
Liverpool has already acquired Marko Grujic, a young midfielder currently on loan at Serbian side Red Star Belgrade, and Joël Matip, the Cameroonian centre-back who is plying his trade at Schalke 04, and will join at the end of the season.
Liverpool’s urgency for a new goalkeeper is amply clear, with their current number one Simon Mignolet striving for steadiness throughout his spell at Merseyside. Apparently, rumours surrounding goalkeepers heading to Merseyside makes sense. FC Cologne’s Timo Horn is the latest name to be inked on that list.
A confident, dominating presence between the sticks, Horn is a swiftly evolving talent who at a colossal presence of 6’3” has unassailable control of the penalty area, with tremendous reflexes and shot-stopping ability.
At the age of 22, he has ample first-team exposure, after cementing himself as Cologne No. 1 in 2012/13, and has made 60 appearances in the German top flight, following their promotion last season.
The Cologne academy product is said to have a release clause of around £7 million on his current contract with Cologne, set to expire in 2019, which would serve as a great business for Liverpool. At that price, Horn would be a shrewd purchase for the Reds—a custodian who could occupy the No. 1 shirt for many years to come providing an instant upgrade on Simon Mignolet, with a substantial scoop for advancement over the coming seasons.
Jurgen Klopp’s hunt for defensive reinforcements could make headway in diligent this summer, with reports in the German media linking the Liverpool boss with a move for Hoffenheim’s young centre-back Niklas Sule.
Having already snapped up Joel Matip on a free transfer from Schalke, Klopp looks set to overhaul his defensive ranks with a move for the 6ft 5in tall 20-year-old, whose current contract with the Bundesliga side is set to expire in 2019.
A tall, strong, right-footed centre-back, Sule is a robust physical presence and this lends the German under-21 captain an advantage over more fearsome strikers.
At 20, Sule has a great reading of the game paired with his lofty stature and aggressiveness in the tackle, this Frankfurt-born youngster is capable of performing a number of roles at the heart of the defense, able to step out to stop dangerous looking attacks and also sit back and clean up any loose balls.
With Sule being one of Europe’s most promising young centre-backs, it would make sense that he would be in Klopp’s sights. But if Hoffenheim keeps their status in the German top flight alive for next season, Sule may just remain at the Rhein-Neckar Arena.
Liverpool is ready to join the summer transfer battle for Marseille Frontman Michy Batshuayi.
Jurgen Klopp is planning to go head to head with Tottenham, West
Ham and Juventus for £30million-rated Belgian.
Batshuayi, 22, is a man in demand after scoring 24 goals in 52 appearances for club and country this season.
He is in Klopp’s mind as the Liverpool gaffer prepares to stamp his authority on the squad he inherited from Brendan Rodgers last October.
If pursued, he will most likely replace fellow Belgian Christian Benteke, a £32.5m arrival from Aston Villa who has struggled to make an impact in his first season at Anfield. Apparently, Benteke is a target for both West Ham and Atletico Madrid.