The Premier League transfer window opened about a month ago now and Liverpool can be satisfied with their efforts so far.
The Reds have refreshed their underperforming midfield with two signings, first signing Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton for a fee of around $44m (£35m/€41m) before bringing in RB Leipzig’s Dominik Szoboszlai for $77m (£60m/€70m ).
Those two players were both in the door, helpfully, in the first week of pre-season, but it is understood that Liverpool’s squad is still incomplete as it prepares to head to Germany for a training camp at the weekend.
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The pressure isn’t mounting yet, with a month to go before the Reds kick off their Premier League campaign against Chelsea and the window running for another three weeks or so after that, but there are still a few issues to be ironed out. firm.
The first is the defensive midfield situation. Liverpool have brought in two number eights capable of slotting straight into the starting line-up, but could do with stronger cover for Fabinho, who struggled mightily for much of last season. It feels like too big a gamble to trust the Brazilian to return to his former heights without a sufficiently strong replacement ready.
And the second concerns the central defense department. The Reds look well-stocked on paper with Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konaté, Joël Matip, Joe Gomez and Nat Phillips all available, but Phillips is set to leave if Liverpool’s $13m demand is met. (£10m/€12m) is met (via Athletics), while three of the players on the list struggled last season, with the exception of Konaté. However, even the Frenchman is susceptible to injury problems, as are Matip and Gomez. Liverpool need another body to reinforce that area of the team.
Here, Liverpool.com suggests two attainable players who could help Jürgen Klopp close the gaps.
Liverpool transfer target Roméo Lavia can compete with Fabinho
According to The Times’ Paul JoyceKlopp has ‘checked’ Southampton’s midfielder Roméo Lavia with a view to a possible transfer this summer.
To get a deal done, Liverpool will have to negotiate the Saints down on the price, as they consider the current demands of $64m. Athletics.
The hope will be that a compromise can be reached at just above the $52m (£40m/€47m) fee Southampton would receive if Manchester City activated their buy-back clause next summer (Fabrizio Romano via Goal).
The relegated club are poised to recruit a ready-made replacement from City in Shea Charles (via Daily mail), which may make it more susceptible to a sale.
You can certainly see why Klopp is an admirer. Lavia impressed in a struggling team last season, playing more minutes than any teenager in the Premier League and earning a nomination for the Golden Boy award, given to the best under-21s in Europe’s top competition. There was even international recognition from one of the best teams on the planet when he earned a senior Belgium cap in March.
He could be both an immediate competitor and a long-term successor to Fabinho in the number six position.
Liverpool should look for António Silva transfer to strengthen the defense
In March, journalist Neil Jones shared a list of defenders admired by Liverpool’s recruitment team (via Goal) and one by one the names have fallen by the wayside.
Wolfsburg’s Micky van de Ven is on his way to Spurs with no opposition from the Reds, while a move for Sporting’s Gonçalo Inácio has been ruled out (via This is Anfield).
Chelsea’s Levi Colwill is of interest (as per ECHO), but suffers from the fact that the Reds are direct rivals, while Mauricio Pochettino’s side are determined to keep him. Similarly, Jarrad Branthwaite is off the table because he plays for local rivals Everton.
Joško Gvardiol’s $112 million (£86m/€100m) price tag always puts this deal beyond the Reds’ realistic reach, and Man City look set to win the race for the RB Leipzig star anyway (via The times).
Elsewhere, Perr Schuurs is reportedly on his way to Crystal Palace, while West Ham may be reluctant to sell Nayef Aguerd after losing Declan Rice to Arsenal. At 27, the Moroccan may not appeal as much as some of the younger options after all.
The last man standing is actually Benfica’s António Silva and he ticks a lot of boxes for Liverpool.
Extremely comfortable in possession, he was second in the Primeira Liga for pass completion (91.4 per cent) last season and third for progressive carry distance (4,591 yards).
While only 19 years old, he has already amassed considerable experience, starting 30 out of 34 league games for eventual champions Benfica last season and every game of the Eagles’ run to the Champions League quarter-finals. No teenager played more minutes in either competition.
Jamie Carragher has backed Silva, who won two Defender of the Month awards and played for Portugal at the World Cup, to become a ‘superstar’ (via HITC), and for a reported fee of $58 million. (£45 million), which per A Bola/ECHOhe could be an excellent addition.