The transfer window is barely a week old and Liverpool have a number of things on their agenda as they look to strengthen their squad this summer.
Alexis Mac Allister’s deal was completed without a hitch as the Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder signed to become the latest Argentine to line up at Anfield.
The goal doesn’t stop there as Liverpool continue to look to further improve their squad ahead of the players reuniting in early July for their 2023-24 Premier League and Europa League preparations.
After their disappointing campaign last time out, the focus is on defensive and midfield signings as goalkeeping and attacking options remain in stock. Should Caoimhin Kelleher leave Anfield this summer, the Reds could have their arms twisted in motion between the sticks.
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But the priority remains in the engine room and a left-sided defender should one become available. Questions were sparked throughout the campaign about the quality of Liverpool’s midfield as they were exposed during their difficult spells before slumping to their lowest Premier League finish since 2016.
Midfield options were few and far between with injuries hampering options as well as a lack of investment in recent years. In the lowest end to Jurgen Klopp’s reign in a full Premier League calendar, there hasn’t been a season with more chastening defeats as the Reds fell from the boil just months after chasing the quadruple.
Compared to recent seasons, there is no financial support from qualifying for the Champions League or prize money from their runs in various other competitions.
They netted £105.7m from their pursuit of a seventh European crown at the end of the 2021/22 period, with an estimated £71m received from their last 16 exit to Real Madrid in March.
The German has already argued that the lack of European football cannot be used as an excuse for not opening their wallets in the transfer window.
“It’s a great club with a really good football team and even better, hopefully, next year. I’ve hardly faced the situation where you talk to a player and everything is great and he says, ‘okay, we let’s see if… “It doesn’t happen very often,” he said in May.
“We’re still Liverpool and we’re really attractive to a lot of players, we shouldn’t forget that. That’s why I’m not worried about that fact.
“Obviously everything is more difficult without the Champions League, especially in the long term, and we don’t have to do these things more often.
“But other than that, it’s okay, the situation we’re in from a talking point of view and a persuasive point of view.”
The ECHO understands the Reds have a longer-than-usual shortlist for this transfer window, with a number of factors contributing to that, none more so than the departures of engine room options James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita – who have both struggled with injuries in recent 18 months of their Liverpool career.
Khephren Thuram is under real consideration, it is understood. Ibrahima Konate has spoken openly about his French compatriot Thuram, who according to L’Equipe has been “seduced” by the project at Anfield. There is a possibility that the 22-year-old will hold the Liverpool shirt before the start of the Premier League season against Chelsea.
According to transfer market, his current market value is said to be in the region of £27.3m. He is likely to cost more than the reported £35m for Mac Allister – likely in the region of £50m – but should Thuram express his intentions to leave the Allianz Riviera this summer, it could force Nice to part ways.
Meanwhile, Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Manu Kone and Gabri Veiga are also on the list, while Southampton’s 19-year-old Romeo Lavia has his admirers, but Arsenal have reportedly led the race for the Belgian.
Ryan Gravenberch emerged as a key target earlier this year and reports claimed in April that Liverpool met with the player’s agent, Rafaela Pimenta, who also represents Thuram. Although there is a reluctance to sell from Bayern Munich, despite the Ajax academy being a peripheral figure at the Allianz Arena last season.
Of course, it remains to be seen whether the sell-to-buy model will remain at Anfield after recent seasons and the addition of Jorg Schmadtke, who succeeded Julian Ward as sporting director at the start of June.
One player attracting interest that the Reds will be able to capture at the U21 European Championship in Georgia and Romania is the aforementioned Veiga. According to reports, the Spanish youngster has courted interest from his homeland and from the Premier League, with Chelsea and Newcastle joining Liverpool in the chase.
This summer could be his last at his boyhood club, and what a way for him to sign off. His goalscoring exploits on the final day of the season saw them not only see off Barcelona but also stay in La Liga thanks to the win.
Reports suggest he could be available for £32m this summer due to his release clause and with the Reds among the clubs at the front of the queue. In an ideal summer, this would be a perfect business to continue the overhaul of the midfield.
Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott staked their claim for Liverpool’s starting positions at different parts of the season, the Liverpool-born man enjoying an extended run in the first team towards the end of the term, featuring in 11 consecutive games.
Jones’ rich run of form coincided with the Reds securing Europa League football with an 11-game unbeaten run. It is believed that Jordan Henderson will endure a slightly reduced role, adding three more options to the two who could join Mac Allister on Merseyside next season.
The backline at Klopp’s disposal is aging with Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip both in their 30s. A wildcard exit has been suggested for the Cameroonian defender, who arrived as a free agent from Schalke in 2016, with a year left on his term and his injury problems at the back of the season, he could be heading for an Anfield- exit. However, there has been no sign of that so far this summer.
Holland captain Van Dijk spoke this week about his future in L4 and discussions with the Reds boss, he explained how the end of the season plus the incoming contracts have helped to motivate him. For that reason, Levi Colwill, valued at £13m according to Transfer Markt, could be the right addition to Liverpool’s backline.
Having cut his teeth in the professional game during a loan spell with Huddersfield Town, Colwill shone in Brighton’s historic season as they qualified for Europe for the first time in their history.
Prying the defender away from Chelsea will be a difficult task, but not entirely impossible as they look to deplete their bloated squad. The Londoners are not shying away from business as they continue to monitor talent around the world, but Liverpool targeting Colwill, who was called up to the senior England squad for the first time this month, would be a key piece of business to inject youth together with. Konate in the back line.
In the scenario where Liverpool can work their magic and get their hands on Thuram, Veiga and Colwill, it would be a big step to complete the first steps of the overhaul at Anfield with a dangerous mix already up front.