Liverpool kick off their Premier League campaign against Arsenal today, and have massively improved their squad ahead of their first full season under their exuberant boss Jurgen Klopp.
However, one of the key areas which the German has failed to address is the troubled left-back spot, and the Reds have been dealt a blow with the news that FC Köln defender Jonas Hector has signed a new deal with the Bundesliga club.
Hector has committed to his current team until 2021, meaning that it would likely cost Liverpool well in excess of the £20 million that the German side were already holding out for.
A solid and dependable left-back, with reasonable creative talents, Hector looked as if he may be the perfect solution to Jurgen Klopp’s biggest issue with his squad. But for now, the Reds must either turn their attentions to other targets or concentrate on improving Alberto Moreno ahead of a long and important campaign.
Liverpool have been dealt another blow in the transfer market, with Italian journalist Emanuele Giulianelli claiming that they have had an €18 million (£15.5 million) bid rejected for Roma midfielder Leandro Paredes.
Paredes impressed last season on loan at Empoli, and has interested Klopp with his no-nonsense tackling approach in the centre of midfield. His more defensive minded approach could be the perfect foil to allow Emre Can to push further forward, and would provide more protection to allow the likes of Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino to flourish.
However, Roma are apparently keen on a figure closer to €22 million (£19 million), which is a rather steep figure for the services of a relatively unproven 22-year-old. Still, his combative style would be a welcome addition to a central midfield collection which still looks a tad light on real depth.
Another midfielder who has been linked with the Reds from Italy is the radically different Croatain Marcelo Brozovic, who currently plays for Inter Milan.
Brozovic impressed on the wing for Croatia during the Euros, and his position in the Inter side has been compromised by an apparent deal to bring former Reds target Joao Mario to the San Siro. The arrival of Mario could leave Brozovic on the bench, meaning a move away would be beneficial to the player.
However, Liverpool is unlikely to be the place for him. Whilst he is a very good player, and a promising talent at just 23, Brozovic is too similar to the likes of Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino and Georginio Wijnaldum, without actually being as good as any of them. His addition to the squad would be a needless indulgence, and is probably a transfer that is best avoided by Jurgen Klopp’s side.
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