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Would Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne be the ideal replacement for Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho?

Rob Meech

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Lorenzo Insigne

Despite Jurgen Klopp having repeatedly insisted star player Philippe Coutinho is not for sale, Liverpool continue to be linked with a number of players who could replace the want-away Brazilian.

The latest addition to this ever-expanding list is Napoli playmaker Lorenzo Insigne who, according to the Mirror, is being tipped to swap Serie A for the Premier League. The 26-year-old is valued at £60 million by Napoli, although the Italian club have no desire to sell one of their prized assets.

Barcelona’s pursuit of Coutinho is the transfer saga of the summer and could go down to the wire. The Catalan giants have already had two bids rebuffed by the Reds, the second of which was believed to be £90 million. However, Neymar’s world-record move to Paris St-Germain has given the Catalan giants an enormous pot of money to spend and they appear determined to get their man.

The revelation that Coutinho has handed in a transfer request has weakened Liverpool’s position and an offer of more than £100m would be difficult to reject from a financial aspect. Having cost a measly £8.5 million from Inter Milan some four-and-a-half-years ago, it would represent a massive profit.

What would Lorenzo Insigne bring to Anfield?

Insigne has become a key figure at Napoli, helping them to a third-place finish in Serie A last season. He has made 37 domestic appearances in each of the past two campaigns and chipped in with 30 goals in that time. Insigne’s his tally of 18 last season come at a ratio of nearly one every other game – an impressive statistic for a midfielder.

Insigne’s style suits the technical brand of football Klopp has adopted at Liverpool. The Italy international, who played under Antonio Conte in the 2016 European Championship, is small in stature but capable of changing matches in an instant. He would be a welcome addition to the phalanx of creative, attacking midfielders at the Reds, such as Adam Lallana and Sadio Mane.

Any deal for Insigne hinges on the future of Coutinho. If he does complete his dream move to Barcelona, Klopp would have to bring in a replacement. Insigne would fit the bill in many aspects but, with Napoli determined not to sell, it may take an irresistible offer.

Rob is a freelance writer, specialising in football, who previously worked as a sports journalist at the Dorset Echo. A long-standing AFC Bournemouth supporter, Rob can often be found on the terraces at the Vitality Stadium. Follow him on Twitter - @RobMeech

Croatia

Liverpool fans want Ivan Rakitic following brilliant performance against Argentina

Liverpool fans want yet another top midfielder at the club this summer.

Jamie Watts

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Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic was nothing short of sensational last night in Croatia’s 3-0 dismantling of Argentina, and Liverpool fans have taken to social media to commend the midfielder, with many asserting that Jurgen Klopp should sign him this summer.

Luka Modric was in his usual scintillating form in the centre of the park, but Rakitic was equally as good, and the two essentially ran the game for the whole duration, as Argentina scratched their heads for a way to get into the game.

Photo: Getty Images

The 30-year-old rounded off a truly dominant display by slotting home into an empty net from close range, after Mateo Kovacic unselfishly played him in, but it was nothing less than Rakatic’s performance deserved on the night.

Reds fans, having already secured the high-profile signings of Naby Keita and Fabinho, took to Twitter to suggest that the club should complete a hat-trick of midfield acquisitions this summer and bring the £60 million rated man to Anfield.

Here’s the reaction:

It has to be said that the logistics of completing a deal for the Barcelona man, who was ever-present in the side last season, make any serious movement unlikely on Liverpool’s front. But many are starting to regret the club’s decision to turn their nose up at the prospect of signing him, in a make-weight deal for Philippe Coutinho last summer.

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Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp should bring in Emil Forsberg to replace Adam Lallana

The Swedish star is keen on leaving RB Leipzig this summer and Liverpool have been linked in the past.

Mathew Nash

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It seems Sweden midfielder Emil Forsberg has made his mind up over his RB Leipzig future. The talented playmaker has told Fotbolskanalen in his homeland:

“I’m ready for the next big step. That’s going to be very interesting.

“I am in dialogue with RB and always had a good relationship with the club.

“I have the dream of playing for the strongest clubs in the world.”

Those words certainly suggest he is on his way. Plenty of teams have been linked with the player recently.

One such English club is Liverpool. As recently as May it was reported that the Swedish talent would cost £47 million, according to SportExpressen.

That seems a little high and Liverpool could surely get the player cheaper.

(Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

It is definitely a deal Liverpool should consider. Forsberg is a similar talent to Adam Lallana.

Capable of playing anywhere along the front behind the front-man he relies on his cunning, technique and brains too make up for his lack of pace.

In fact, when watching highlights of the pair in action, the similarities are uncanny.

However, Forsberg is four years younger than Lallana and the ex-Southampton man’s recent injury record has been awful.

Undoubtedly, Lallana is a magnificent talent. He is also a favourite of Jurgen Klopp’s, often considered the German’s teacher’s pet.

But Liverpool simply cannot rely on the 30-year-old to stay fit anymore. Klopp loves him, but he would love Forsberg just as much.

It might be time for Liverpool to trade in for a newer model.

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Liverpool’s reported target Lorenzo Insigne is far better for Klopp than Nabil Fekir

The new reported target would be even better for Liverpool.

Jamie Watts

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is reportedly ready to dust himself down over his club’s failings to land Lyon star Nabil Fekir, and will make a sensational swoop for Napoli maestro Lorenzo Insigne, according to reports from TransferMarketWeb.

Despite having arguably the most dangerous front three in the Premier League in Sadio Mane, Robert Firmino and Mohamed Salah, it would appear that Klopp is refusing to rest on his laurels, and is demanding the club spend big to bring in reinforcements capable of mounting a challenge on all fronts next term.

Photo: Getty Images

Insigne is a arguably a better option than Fekir ever was for the Reds. As tactically he would add so much more than the Frenchman. Fekir largely models his game around crafting attacks while in possession, often drifting into central areas looking for the killer pass, or to line up a shot himself – similarly to Philippe Coutinho – but the Brazilian doesn’t need a direct replacement at Anfield.

Since his departure, the overall balance of the team has improved, as a more industrious midfield employs Klopp’s high-pressing style in a three. Fekir would operate in similar areas to Coutinho and would likely throw the overall balance off somewhat.

Photo: Getty Images

Insigne on the other hand will stay out wide, and use his brilliant feet and speed to set up opportunities to test the goalkeeper, or to bend in in-swinging crosses with his right foot for the likes of Firmino and Salah.

The Italian bagged 14 goals goals in 48 games in all competitions and for the reported fee of £52 million, he’s an even more exciting addition than Fekir.

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