Liverpool’s eight midfield transfer targets as influential stars Jordan Henderson and Fabinho both close in on moves to Saudi Arabia

  • Jordan Henderson and Fabinho are set to leave Liverpool for Saudi Arabia
  • Their exits mean Liverpool need a new defensive midfielder this summer
  • Mail Sport take a look at eight players who have been on their wishlist

Liverpool went into the summer knowing they would lose three midfielders, but little did they know they might have to replace their two most important players in the middle of the park in recent years.

Jurgen Klopp’s side let James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all leave at the end of their contracts – aware that a rebuild was needed after a disappointing campaign.

Liverpool have strengthened their squad with two young creative midfielders in Alexis MacAllister from Brighton and Dominik Szoboszlai from RB Leipzig, costing the Reds a total of £95m.

The Reds were already mulling a move for a third midfielder, but another signing appears to be a necessity now with both Jordan Henderson and Fabinho looking to take their talents to Saudi Arabia at Steven Gerrard’s Al-Ettifaq and Al-Ittihad respectively.

Mail Sport takes a look at eight players on Liverpool’s midfield shortlist that Jurgen Klopp could look to sign to help fill the expected void left by Henderson and Fabinho.

Influential midfielders Jordan Henderson and Fabinho are set to move to Saudi Arabia
Jurgen Klopp’s side have been linked with a host of midfielders during the summer window

Romeo Lavia

The £50m-rated Southampton midfielder has been linked with Liverpool throughout the summer, although there are concerns among Reds fans over whether signing the 19-year-old would be enough if both Henderson and Fabinho leave.

At 19, the Belgium international is the youngest player on this list and lacks the considerable experience that Henderson and Fabinho both brought to the fold.

However, there is a reason why Lavia has been the subject of interest from not only Liverpool, but also Arsenal, Chelsea and Man United.

The Reds have tracked Lavia thanks to his eye-catching form amid a challenging season for relegated Saints.

Lavia made 34 appearances across all competitions for Southampton last season, scoring his only goal in a 2-1 win over Chelsea – becoming the first player born in 2004 to score in the Premier League.

Liverpool feel the £50m price tag is too high for Lavia, but he is a cheaper option than some of the other midfielders on their shortlist.

Liverpool have been linked with Southampton’s Romeo Lavia throughout the transfer window

Cheick Doucoure

The latest player to be linked with a move to Anfield is Crystal Palace star Doucoure.

As reported by Mail Sportthe Reds have begun work on calculating the cost of signing the Mali international.

Liverpool have yet to approach Palace, but the south London club are preparing to make an enquiry.

Palace, who signed Doucoure for £18m from Lens last summer, are keen to keep hold of the 24-year-old.

However, Mail Sport understands that Palace officials are likely to find it difficult to turn down a £70m offer should the Reds make one.

Their price tag on Doucoure is a clear sign that Arsenal’s 105 million pound switch to Declan Rice, and Moises Caicedo a target of 100m. pounds for Chelsea, could make signing a defensive midfielder this summer an expensive task.

Crystal Palace could be looking at a hefty fee of around £70m for midfielder Cheick Doucoure

Sofyan Amrabat

One of the stars of the Qatar World Cup, playing a crucial role in helping Morocco reach the semi-finals – the furthest an African team has reached.

Even in their semi-final loss to France, Amrabat summed up the Moroccan spirit as he chased down Kylian Mbappe and mounted a decisive challenge on the Paris Saint-Germain superstar.

Since then, he has been linked with a number of top European teams, including Manchester United.

With his contract at current Fiorentina expiring next summer, he could prove to be the cheapest option on this list.

Reports have suggested the 26-year-old could be available for as little as £30m.

Amrabat made 49 appearances for Fiorentina in all competitions last season and should the Reds make a move, they will be hoping he doesn’t go down as one of those World Cup wonders who doesn’t make the grade after a big transfer.

Sofyan Amrabat was one of the stars of the World Cup and would be a cheap option

Ryan Gravenberch

The Dutch midfielder left his boyhood club Ajax to join Bayern Munich last summer but was restricted to just three Bundesliga starts in his first season at the club after falling out of favor under Julian Nagelsmann and Thomas Tuchel.

Despite this, Gravenberch has been tipped as one of the best young midfielders in European football and Liverpool have been linked with a move for him during the summer.

He would be one of the cheapest options on Klopp’s shortlist after joining Bayern Munich for £21m last summer.

Reports back in April claimed the Reds were in talks with the 21-year-old’s father over a £25m move to Anfield.

However, the Reds suffered a blow last month when Gravenberch admitted that while he expected to play more last season, he “assumes” he will still be at Bayern next season.

But the fact Bayern didn’t opt ​​to start him last season raises the question of whether he would have an immediate impact at Liverpool – something Klopp probably needs as they lose two regular members of their starting XI.

Ryan Gravenberch struggled for regular starts after his move from Ajax to Bayern Munich

Aurelien Tchouameni

The Reds missed out on Tchouameni in the summer of 2022 when the Frenchman decided to join Real Madrid in an £85m deal.

But with Madrid’s recent £113m purchase of Jude Bellingham, along with concerns over his playing time at the Santiago Bernabeu, it has once again raised questions about his future.

The 23-year-old played 50 games last season but started just 24 in LaLiga as the likes of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Eduardo Camavinga were often chosen up front.

Bayern Munich have also reportedly joined the race for the midfielder, who could be available for £70m.

Although Tchouameni is on Klopp’s shortlist, it looks like it could be an impossible move to pull off.

He chose Madrid over Liverpool last year and last week liked a tweet which read: ‘Tchouameni is NOT FOR SALE. You understand? @Liverpool.’

Aurelien Tchouameni is on the shortlist but does not appear to have any motive to leave Real Madrid

Calvin Phillips

Perhaps the shock name on the list given Manchester City’s rivalry with Liverpool in recent seasons.

Despite starting just four games in all competitions since his £45m move. from Leeds, it could take some persuasion from Liverpool to convince Man City to strengthen one of their rivals.

Phillips struggled to get a big chance last season due to injuries and the competition in a stacked Treble-winning Man City side.

However, if they were to lose Henderson and Fabinho, Liverpool would have room in their squad to give Phillips an opportunity in their starting XI.

Reports in April suggested that Liverpool would look to sign Phillips for a fee of £35m. this summer.

Phillips has vital experience in a high-energy team as he was a key cog at Leeds – playing as their deepest midfielder, often setting the pace. It will be the player Klopp remembers should Liverpool approach.

Kalvin Phillips made just four starts for Manchester City in a tough debut season

João Straw

The Fulham star has been linked with a big-money move after helping the Cottagers secure a top-half finish last season.

He has been most strongly linked with West Ham, and Mail Sport reports that Fulham want around £60m for the player.

They are particularly keen given the departure of Captain Rice to Arsenal.

However, the Portuguese international is also on Liverpool’s shortlist and would naturally fill the defensive midfield role left by Fabinho.

However, with his price tag and due to the fact that he is 28 years old – the oldest player on this list – it would not be a surprise if Klopp looks to go elsewhere.

Joao Palhinha has been increasingly linked with a move to West Ham as a Declan Rice replacement

Khephren Thuram

The most strongly linked player on this list is Nice midfielder Thuram.

The Reds appeared to end their interest in the son of France legend Lilian after Mac Allister and Szoboszlai bought.

However, the picture has changed with the impending departures of Henderson and Fabinho from Anfield.

A fee of around £52million has previously been touted for the 22-year-old defensive midfielder, who made 48 appearances in all competitions last season.

Bayern Munich have also been linked with a move for Thuram, providing potentially stiff competition for his services.

Liverpool fans floated the outrageous theory that both Thuram and Lavia were set to sign for the club after tracking a private jet around the world en route to their Stuttgart training base

The plane took off from Nice Airport in southern France – the city where Thuram plies his trade – at 8.45am on Monday morning and later landed in Blackpool, where the original poster of the theory believes the plane was diverted, from Liverpool.

From there the jet took off at 12 to land 48 minutes later in Southampton, where Lavia has been with since July 2022 – before it headed for Stuttgart.

Liverpool looked like ending their interest in Khephren Thuram earlier this summer, but the potential exits of Henderson and Fabinho have changed the picture at Anfield

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