Liverpool: Renewed interest in left-back; Benteke and Balotelli bids; Flanagan to leave
Whilst most sources suggest that Jurgen Klopp is now happy with his squad and is not planning any more major signings, the Liverpool Echo are covering claims that the German boss could be reviving his interest in left back Hector Jonas, who is said to be available for a fee of around £22.5 million if the Reds are keen to take him to compete with Alberto Moreno.
Whilst Jonas was previously talked of a possible target, the trail had gone cold, and with news of Ben Chilwell’s new contract at Leicester, it seemed as though Klopp was happy to wait and give Alberto Moreno another chance to prove his quality as first choice left back at Anfield. Whether or not these latest reports are accurate or not is questionable, but if they are, then Jonas would be a quality addition to provide real competition for Moreno in one of their most vulnerable positions last season.
Elsewhere, the Hull Daily Mail report that Hull City have made a surprise loan bid for unwanted striker Christian Benteke. Few consider that the bid will be taken seriously, but bosses at the KC Stadium reportedly see it as a way to appease the squad after tensions arose following Steve Bruce’s departure.
Liverpool, and Benteke, would both prefer a permanent departure, with the Reds already said to have rejected substantial bids from Crystal Palace, so a move to Hull seems unlikely even if a loan offer was accepted by the club. That said, bosses will be growing concerned that the transfer deadline is nearing with no solution to the Belgian’s striker nearing.
That is, if those bosses aren’t too busy celebrating reports in the Daily Mail which claim that Mario Balotelli could have a more attractive offer on the table, with Dutch giants Ajax said to be entering preliminary talks with the Italian. Having turned down a move to Besiktas, a move to Ajax is likely to be more attractive, and Balotelli is even said to be happy to take a £50,000 wage cut to force the move through.
Ajax are yet to approach Liverpool officially, but are close to doing so after receiving positive signals from Balotelli and his agent Mino Raiola. Liverpool are desperate to get rid, and with the Italian free to leave, they will accept almost any offer which sees the ex-Manchester City man off their books.
One loan move that looks set to be confirmed in the coming days is that of local lad and versatile defender John Flanagan, as the Mirror report that he has now agreed to join Burnley on loan. For the 23-year-old it presents a good opportunity to prove himself having spent almost 18 months on the touchline with a knee injury.
With plenty of options at full back on both flanks at Anfield, this move seems the best way for Flanagan to prove his qualities to Jurgen Klopp, with first team opportunities at Anfield looking limited. It seems as though Flanagan does still have a future at the club, with Klopp said to be a fan, so he will be closely monitored this season as he attempts to persuade Sam Allardyce to add to his current one England cap by helping the Clarets to survive.
In even more heartbreaking news for Kopites, Lucas Leiva is set to leave the club in a £2.5 million deal taking him to Galatasaray claim the Express. That would put an end to the Brazilian’s nine year spell on Merseyside after being brought to the club by Rafa Benitez. Jurgen Klopp is said to have told the holding midfielder that he won’t be getting much first team football should he remain at Liverpool, whilst Galatasaray have guaranteed him that.
For Liverpool fans, it is sad news to see a cult hero and loyal figure leave. At his peak, Lucas was one of the side’s best players, and even last season he was a vital squad player who made an important contribution. However, a move seems best for all parties, and Reds fans will wish him the best with his future.
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