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10 midfielders Liverpool could consider for late summer transfer

With Jurgen Klopp open to the addition of a new midfielder before the end of the transfer window, who could Liverpool target, both realistically and less so?

As the days pass by, it is becoming more apparent that, in an ideal world, Klopp would have already signed a new midfielder.

The injury-prone trio of Thiago, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have convened on the treatment table, with Curtis Jones also sidelined after picking up an issue during pre-season.

That leaves Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho as the senior midfield options, while 17-year-old Stefan Bajcetic has been on the bench for all three Premier League games so far this season.

“I’m not really the right person to ask,” he told Sky Germany after the 2-1 loss to Man United.

“As a manager, I’d like to have more players who are available, naturally. But that’s all I can say. We’re always working on it. But whether we can do something, I don’t know.”

So who could Liverpool target? Here are 10 possible signings – with some more likely than others.

 

Youri Tielemans

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - Wednesday, March 3, 2021: Leicester City's Youri Tielemans during the FA Premier League match between Burnley FC and Leicester City FC at Turf Moor. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Age: 25
Club: Leicester
Contract until: 2023


Among the midfielders who are believed to be available this summer, Tielemans is into the final year of his contract at Leicester and, if the right bid is received, may be allowed to leave before September 1.

There is a long-standing interest within the Liverpool recruitment staff, and any price tag for the Belgian will now be considerably lower, with as low as £16 million mooted in the press.

Tielemans is a durable, creative, possession-hungry goal threat from midfield who, having only turned 25 in May, could have a number of years ahead of him at the top level.

 

Fabian Ruiz

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 11, 2018: Napoli's Fabián Ruiz during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool FC and SSC Napoli at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Age: 26
Club: Napoli
Contract until: 2023


Another player with less than 12 months to run on his current deal, Spain international Ruiz has long been believed to be joining Paris Saint-Germain this summer, but no move has come to fruition yet.

That is despite reports in Italy suggesting Napoli would accept offers of just £17 million for an all-round midfielder who has proved himself adept in defence and attack.

Comfortable both working around an opposition press and breaking the lines into the final third, Ruiz could be an upgrade on Keita if the Guinean is to depart as claimed in Germany.

 

Konrad Laimer

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA - JUNE 21: Konrad Laimer of Austria looks on as he makes his way off the pitch after being substituted during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group C match between Ukraine and Austria at National Arena on June 21, 2021 in Bucharest, Romania. (Photo by Alex Caparros - UEFA)

Age: 25
Club: RB Leipzig
Contract until: 2023


RB Leipzig midfielder Domenico Tedesco has already ruled out a summer exit for Laimer, amid interest from Bayern Munich, but it remains to be seen whether the club’s hierarchy feel the same.

Laimer is on course to depart on a free transfer in 2023 and, as such, now is the only realistic opportunity for Leipzig to cash in on their No. 27.

The Austrian is a relentless, high-energy pressing midfielder, with his qualities both on and off the ball perfectly suited to the system employed by Klopp at Liverpool.

 

Florian Neuhaus

2DJD09B Florian Neuhaus (BMG) Borussia Monchengladbach - Hertha BSC Berlin 27.10.2020, Fussball; 1. Bundesliga, Saison 2020/21 Foto: Moritz Muller Copyright

Age: 25
Club: Borussia Monchengladbach
Contract until: 2024


In 2020, journalists both in Germany and on Merseyside relayed word of Liverpool’s interest in Neuhaus, but a £34.7 million release clause in his contract was allowed to expire with no offers made.

It is likely, though, that the box-to-box midfielder will have remained on the club’s radar, and it is encouraging to see he has continued to progress at Gladbach.

Neuhaus turned 25 in March and, given his versatility in midfield, could be moulded into a variety of different roles under his compatriot, Klopp.

 

Houssem Aouar

Lyon's Houssem Aouar (Photo: David Klein/Sportimage via PA Images)

Age: 24
Club: Lyon
Contract until: 2023


For a long spell, Aouar was one of, if not the, most-coveted young talents in Europe – but for one reason or another, a high-profile move away from Lyon never transpired.

That should change this summer, but the clubs he has been linked with – including both Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace – are indicative of his fade in prominence.

However, this could present Liverpool with an opportunity to sign a player who could establish himself as a capable No. 8 within Klopp’s system at a much lower cost than previously quoted, with £12.7 million the price tag this summer.

 

Sander Berge

2ATBJC4 Sheffield United's Sander Berge during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London.

Age: 24
Club: Sheffield United
Contract until: 2024


A strange target, perhaps, but one who has been linked with Liverpool in the past and could provide a useful squad option.

“What kind of player are we missing?” Klopp asked when discussing his midfield options earlier in the summer. “One who is offensive, 6’5″ and arrives into the box to head balls in? OK, apart from that!”

Berge, who stands at 6’5″, is developing a reputation as a progressive, goalscoring midfielder with Sheffield United, and is seemingly outgrowing his surroundings at Bramall Lane.

He may not be the “golden cow” Klopp jokingly referred to, but Berge – available for around £25 million – could be a solid addition to the midfield ranks.

 

Moises Caicedo

Age: 20
Club: Brighton
Contract until: 2025


On to the slightly less-attainable targets, and first up a youngster linked with Liverpool in his native press back in Ecuador.

Brighton pulled off a coup in 2021 when they secured a deal for Caicedo worth in the region of £5 million, having seemed close to joining Man United from Independiente del Valle only for negotiations to prove too complicated.

After a season on loan with Beerschot in Belgium, the all-action 20-year-old has now returned and is already impressing in the Premier League, with a step up from Brighton – for a sizeable profit – surely not too far away.

 

Jacob Ramsey

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 9, 2021: Aston Villa's Jacob Ramsey during the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Manchester United FC at Villa Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Age: 21
Club: Aston Villa
Contract until: 2027


It would take a big offer for Villa to consider a deal for Ramsey, but it may be worth it for a player who Steven Gerrard is creating in his own image.

Ramsey is a supremely talented, instinctive young midfielder who plays at a blistering pace as he surges through the midfield with aggression and crisp passing play.

Having signed a new long-term contract as recently as April, though, the Englishman may be one to monitor for the long term instead.

 

Nicolo Barella

MUNICH, GERMANY - JULY 02: Nicolo Barella of Italy celebrates after scoring their side's first goal during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Quarter-final match between Belgium and Italy at Football Arena Munich on July 02, 2021 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann - UEFA)

Age: 25
Club: Inter Milan
Contract until: 2026


“We’re really happy Barella is not playing,” Klopp revealed ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League last-16 second-leg clash with Inter Milan in March.

The manager pointed to an outstanding display between the two legs that saw Inter’s No. 23 “set up three or four” in a 5-0 thrashing of Salernitana, with Barella not short of admirers on Merseyside.

It makes sense, then, that the Italy international would be considered a target by the club’s recruitment team, and though the price tag would be high, his balls-out, box-to-box brand of midfield play could be worth the investment.

 

Jude Bellingham

LONDON, ENGLAND - Friday, November 12, 2021: England's substitute Jude Bellingham during the pre-match warm-up before the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifying Group I match between England and Albania at Wembley Stadium. England won 5-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Age: 19
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Contract until: 2025


Berge may not be anywhere near the golden cow, but if any player is close, that would be Bellingham.

A concrete target for Liverpool, the England international is already considered one of the best in the world in his position and, scarily, has plenty of years to develop still.

Dortmund are unlikely to part ways with Bellingham this summer, with a nine-figure transfer instead slated for 2023 – but if the Reds decide to pull the trigger early with another midfield signing, it would be rude not to at least test the waters.

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