Jul 7, 2016
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Liverpool: Croatian youngster targeted; £2.5m-rated prodigy to leave; Sevilla want midfielder

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Liverpool’s important summer continues, with Jurgen Klopp aiming to build a squad capable of taking Liverpool back to the top table of European football. Loris Karius, Joel Matip, Marko Grujic and Sadio Mane are all settling into the club as pre-season training is getting under way, but news on new arrivals is currently proving to be very thin on the ground.

Although no new big names have been linked, the Reds have reportedly made a “concrete offer” for 19-year-old Croatia winger Ante Coric. Coric, of Dinamo Zagreb, has impressed a number of clubs, with Napoli and Manchester City also rumoured to be competing for his signature.

 

Coric has made two appearances for his country, and was an unused member of the Croatian squad for the European Championships, in which they reached the round of 16. Having made his debut for Dinamo two years ago, Coric has managed 10 goals in 67 league appearances, and is clearly seen as a star of the future in the national side. A bid of £12.8 million is reported to have been made by the Anfield side.

Even with transfer fees growing increasingly more extortionate in recent years, £12.8 million seems like a lot of money to spend on a 19-year-old who has yet to prove himself outside of the Croatian league. Whilst Coric remains a prodigious talent, he would struggle to break into the Liverpool first team for a long while with the likes of Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana, Lazar Markovic and latterly Sadio Mane in the squad.

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As much as Coric would bring more competition for places, he is unlikely to establish himself in the first team for a number of seasons. If the deal happens, it will certainly be one for the future rather than right now.

With reports of more young wingers arriving at the club in Coric, some of the sides talented youth players may be looking for a move away for the season ahead. Ryan Kent is one of these talented players who could be on his way, with Championship side Barnsley reportedly interested in a loan.

 

Kent; who was one of a number of young players given a chance under Klopp in the FA Cup last season, finds himself a long way down the pecking order at this moment in time, and a move could benefit the 19-year-old. Sheyi Ojo and Jordon Ibe are both of a similar age and have made much more of an impact in the first team than Kent at this time.

Whilst Kent looks like he may be on his way out for a season, another young winger looks to be on his way out of Anfield. Both Norwich City and Bristol City have had £2.5 million bids accepted for Sergi Canos, who impressed at Championship level on loan at Brentford last season. It seems that Canos will be allowed to decide his destination.

However, the most important part of this deal is that Liverpool are keen to implement a buy-back clause in Canos’ new contract. This would be a smart and important change in policy from the owners, as it would give the Reds the option to be more flexible with their youth players. With such a high turnover of young players coming into the squad, buy-back clauses would be a very savvy way to keep tabs on talented youngsters without hindering their development by leaving them on the bench for several seasons, as was the case with Joao Teixeira.

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A player who has almost no chance of coming back though is Luis Alberto, who has been linked with a move back to his old club Sevilla. Liverpool are reportedly asking for £7 million for Alberto, which would be around the same amount that they paid for him back in 2014, but taking a lower offer would be wise for a player who never settled or made an impact at Anfield.

Whilst they will want a decent price for the Spaniard, it would be wise for the Reds to be fairly flexible in negotiations, as Alberto has no discernible future on Merseyside.

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John is a history graduate from the University of Southampton, and will soon be completing a Master's degree in Journalism at Cardiff University

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