Liverpool are somewhat lacking a starting central midfielder after Gini Wijnaldum‘s departure. Youri Tielemans has been widely linked with the Reds – but it appears to be a move which won’t happen this summer.
The Belgian international is not a new name in the frame, when it comes to transfer rumours and the Anfield club.
There were talks about interest in him as a teenager at Anderlecht before he ever came to the Premier League, but he has thrived with Leicester in such a way that his talent at the highest level is not in any doubt.
Those rumours have resurfaced this summer after Wijnaldum’s exit to PSG, with links in May suggesting he was in the frame for a Merseyside move, without a bid being definite. Tielemans himself than tried to douse the flames of rumours, as he focused on the Euros with Belgium.
As is usually the case, when nothing happens it’s taken as a sign that something is happening – but one Belgian journalist makes it clear there has been no approach from Liverpool.
Kristof Terreur says “Liverpool have had [Tielemans] on the list for several years”, yet there has been no “concrete move (as yet)” when it comes to this summer.
He also points to the roundabout nature of the national media in both countries spinning along the same rumour by quoting and citing each other – even though there is nothing ‘new’ about the ‘news’ whatsoever.
The full circle of a rumour:
“Youri Tielemans is pushing for a move to Liverpool.”
? English media quoting Belgian website voetbal24. Their first sentence: ‘various British media are saying …’ Their paragraph where they talk about pushing: ‘In England they are saying …’
— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) July 14, 2021
Added to this, James Pearce of the Athletic reports that club insiders have “dismissed” the notion of a bid for the Leicester midfielder.
He notes that Tielelmans “has his admirers at the club but the price tag is massively prohibitive”, claiming the Foxes would ask for £60 million for the 24-year-old.
While that wouldn’t necessarily be out of reach for the Reds – they have paid bigger fees in the last three years – this summer in particular seems to still be a case of sell to buy, to offset the losses caused by a year without supporters.
The same issues around big fees means rumoured moves for John McGinn (Villa, £50m), Florian Neuhaus (Gladbach, now no release clause), Saul (Atletico Madrid) and Renato Sanches (Lille, both no plans to bid) are improbable for Liverpool.
Pearce says the Reds are looking outside of the Premier League for their new midfield recruit, but it will in part by dictated by player sales – which have also been slow-moving.
The usual names including Harry Wilson, Marko Grujic, Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri are mentioned, while younger players such as Taiwo Awoniyi, Nat Phillips and Neco Williams would also be sold if acceptable bids are received. While a total income from those seven players could exceed £80 million using Pearce’s figures, actually getting the bids in for them appears to be another matter entirely.
For a midfielder or any other addition, it appears the Reds have to simply wait and see this summer.