Jurgen Klopp is thought to have met with representatives of Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka last month, ahead of a possible move.
Xhaka has been linked with a move to Liverpool since Klopp’s arrival as manager, with the Switzerland international one of the Bundesliga’s most promising young talents.
The 23-year-old has developed into one of Gladbach’s key players, and has the potential to progress into a world-class midfielder.
Strong, aggressive and possessing a ball-playing nous, Xhaka would be perfect for Liverpool’s midfield.
According to German publication Bild, Klopp has recognised this, and held a “meeting” with Xhaka’s representatives last month.
Xhaka is thought have a release clause in his contract, activated in 2017, worth around £23 million, but Bild suggest that a similar deal could be negotiated in the summer.
The former FC Basel star’s current deal with Gladbach expires in 2019.
Earlier this month, Gladbach manager Max Eberl told Bild that Xhaka could be free to leave the club in the summer, saying “Gladbach is a club which needs to start over again and again.”
Eberl cited the departures of Marco Reus, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Max Kruse, and their inability to convince long-term loanee Christoph Kramer to join on a permanent deal, as evidence of their situation.
As Eberl explains that Gladbach “must find the new Xhaka,” this mirrors Liverpool’s approach in the transfer market in recent years.
But Klopp’s arrival has signalled something of a change in emphasis, as interest in Shakhtar Donetsk forward Alex Teixeira—a prime-age, top-level player—suggests.
Klopp is known to have played a hand in Liverpool’s transfer business already, too.
The 48-year-old spoke to Serbian midfielder Marko Grujic before he sealed his move from Red Star Belgrade earlier this month, and was reported to have discussed a possible move with Rubin Kazan’s Magomed Ozdoev when Liverpool took on the Russian side back in November.
A potential move for Xhaka would make sense for Klopp, despite Grujic’s arrival, with Lucas Leiva not offering a long-term solution in midfield and Joe Allen likely to leave at the end of the season.
Along with Grujic, Xhaka would add aggression and physicality to Liverpool’s midfield, and the Swiss star could form a cohesive unit with Emre Can and Jordan Henderson.