Impressing on loan at Empoli this season, Udinese midfielder Piotr Zielinski is said to be on Liverpool’s radar ahead of the summer.
Taking a long-term view to moulding his Liverpool squad, Jurgen Klopp has already secured the signing of Red Star Belgrade’s Marko Grujic for the summer.
Continuing this post-season recruitment drive, Klopp is set to turn his attentions to Udinese’s Polish midfielder Zielinski.
That is according to Melissa Reddy of Goal.com, who claims that Liverpool have made him a priority target ahead of a possible move at the end of 2015/16.
“The Merseysiders looked into the possibility of signing him in January, but their preference is to bring him in during the summer window,” Reddy writes.
“The player, who has represented Poland at every level, was also unsure of moving mid-season while he is starting regularly at Empoli as he targets a squad place for Euro 2016.
“He has been unsuccessfully pursued by Napoli, Juventus and AS Roma this month.”
Currently on loan with Serie A side Empoli, Zielinski is thought to be valued at around £11 million, though his performances for Poland at Euro 2016 could affect this.
Zielinski is a right-footed central midfielder capable of operating further ahead in attack or on the right wing, and has scored two goals and made five assists in 19 league games so far this season.
At 21, Zielinski has made 11 appearances for the Polish national team, and will be hopeful of a place in Adam Nawalka’s squad for the upcoming tournament.
Standing at 5’8″, Zielinski would be on the shorter scale when it comes to Liverpool’s midfielders, but with Klopp adding physicality to his side’s spine with the addition of Grujic, the Zaglebie Lubin youth product would provide the Reds with more technicality.
Far from a lightweight option, Zielinski also averages 2.3 successful tackles per 90, more than Coutinho (1.4) and Jordan Henderson (2.1).
What the signing of Zielinski would mean for Klopp’s current midfield options remains unclear.
The impressive recent performances of Joe Allen come following speculation surrounding the Welshman’s future, with Allen linked with a move back to Swansea City.
But while he will have endeared himself to supporters, whether he has a long-term future at Anfield is questionable.
This should be a factor Klopp considers before sanctioning the signing of Zielinski, as though the Polish midfielder is four years Allen’s junior, it is unclear whether he is an upgrade.
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