It has been an up and down year for Joe Allen. A favourite under former manager Brendan Rodgers, the 26-year old found himself falling down the pecking order at Anfield following the arrival of Jurgen Klopp, making just eight Premier League starts after the German took the reins in October 2015.
He has however fared much better in international colours, and is currently enjoying an extended rest period following his exploits at Euro 2016 where he helped Wales to their first ever semi-final and featured in UEFA’s team of the tournament. Therefore yet to link up with his teammates and yet to hold talks over a contact extension with one year left to run on his current deal, speculation is rife that the Welshman’s future may be away from Anfield amidst interest from former club Swansea and Scottish giants Celtic.
Allen, dubbed the “Welsh Xavi”, originally left Swansea for Liverpool back in 2012 in a £15m deal, going on to make 129 appearances, scoring on seven occasions. Though whilst talks are still very much up in the air regarding his future on Merseyside where Klopp hopes to find a “solution” regarding Allen’s future after he rejoins the squad for pre-season, Swansea boss Francesco Guidolin may turn to the former Swan as he looks to add to his attacking options at the Liberty Stadium.
American businessmen Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan took control of the South Wales club in July for £110m, and investments equating to between £30m and £50m have been pledged towards their transfer business this summer. A return to the club where the midfielder made his name, appearing 127 times, is not out of the question, particularly as he finds his first-team opportunities increasingly limited at Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp despite a good run of form towards the end of last season.
Francesco Guidolin, has already bolstered his Swansea squad with the signings of Leroy Fer, Tyler Reid and Mike Van der Hoorn, and as he looks for a creative outlet to slot into his midfield, the Welsh international, already a former club favourite would prove an ideal fit.
Though the Swans are not the only potential destination for the Welshman, and a move to Celtic, and a potential third reunion with his ex-manager at Liverpool and Swansea, Brendan Rodgers, remains a possibility. Rodgers took the reins at Celtic over the summer following the departure of Ronnie Deila, and according to Inside Futbol, he would be keen to recruit Allen international for a third time as the Bhoys gear up for an assault on Europe this season.
The influence of Rodgers may prove a gamechanger in any potential move for the Welshman, but with his first club and another stint with his former boss both in the pipeline, the onus is on both clubs to turn the head of the midfielder if his talks at Anfield were to fall through. Though the Reds themselves may well be keen to retain Allen’s services after having showcased his ability in France this summer, and were he to remain at Anfield, fans could be optimistic that the Welsh international could push on and make a real impact in 2016-17.
As Klopp prepares to sit down with the midfielder upon his return to pre-season training, the situation and outcome will prove a fascinating one to watch, with Allen’s future hanging in the balance.
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