Liverpool are reportedly interested in signing Argentina international Rodrigo De Paul, according to Corriere dello Sport.
The Italian outlet (print edition, page 25, Friday 15 January 2021) claims Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is ready to rival Leeds United for the signature of the highly-rated Udinese midfielder.
With Georginio Wijnaldum’s Anfield future in doubt, Liverpool are apparently looking at De Paul – who can operate as a central midfielder, an attacking midfielder or a winger – as a potential replacement.
However, Udinese won’t let him go without a fight, as the club’s vice-president Stefano Campoccia made clear last week.
“De Paul is a talented player and a point of reference for our team,” he is quoted by FourFourTwo as saying.
“He is a jewel and the jewels cost. The proposals did not meet our requests, for less than €40m (around £35.5m) he does not move.”
As well as Liverpool and Leeds, Italian giants Inter Milan and Juventus have also been linked with De Paul, who has excelled in Serie A since his 2016 move from Valencia.
The versatile player has scored three goals and provided two assists for Udinese in 16 league appearances this season.
An incredibly versatile and talented player with plenty of experience at the highest level, De Paul is a cut above at Udinese and surely it won’t be long before he makes the step up.
“He lacks absolutely nothing, he could play in any club in the world,” his former boss Julio Velazquez told Gazzetta Dello Sport, via Tuttomercatoweb.
“He has also improved on the defensive level and in attack he improves the team.”
Udinese are currently struggling in the lower reaches of the Italian top flight, sitting just four points above the bottom three.
Aside from wanting a fee which clubs could struggle to afford this month, the Zebrette might not want to part ways with him mid-season when Serie A survival is at stake.
And with De Paul’s contract running until 2024, Udinese’s hand is strong – but come the end of the season, depending on how the club fares, you wonder whether he’ll look for a move then.