Josko Gvardiol “on the list” for Liverpool transfer – with Ajax duo also targeted

With Liverpool expected to sign a new centre-back in the summer, RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol has emerged as a high-profile potential target.

Gvardiol is developing into one of the best young centre-backs in the world, having joined Leipzig from Dinamo Zagreb in 2021 to establish himself as key player.

The 21-year-old Croatian is also set to be one of the most-coveted players in the summer transfer window, with the majority of Europe’s elite clubs linked.

Liverpool are no different, with Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg reporting that Gvardiol is “on the list” as the Reds weigh up defensive targets.

This is followed up by a further report by the same outlet, who explain that there is a “particular interest” in the youngster, though Plettenberg stresses there have been “no negotiations” and “Leipzig want to keep him.”

With a release clause worth €110 million only coming into effect in 2024, it would be no surprise if Liverpool turned to alternative targets.

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS - Wednesday, October 26, 2022: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino (L) and AFC Ajax's Jurriën Timber during the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 5 game between AFC Ajax and Liverpool FC at the Amsterdam Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Interestingly, then, Sky Germany claim that Ajax’s Jurrien Timber, 21, is also among the candidates being considered, as well as Eintracht Frankfurt’s Evan Ndicka, 23.

Timber is a right-sided centre-back who can also play at right-back, and told Ajax Life last month that he would “look at his options” this summer.

Ndicka, meanwhile, is left-sided, can also play left-back and will be a free agent when his contract expires in July.

The pair join a long list of centre-backs already reliably linked with Liverpool, along with:

  • Levi Colwill (Chelsea, 20)
  • Antonio Silva (Benfica, 19)
  • Goncalo Inacio (Sporting CP, 21)
  • Perr Schuurs (Torino, 23)
  • Nayef Aguerd (West Ham, 26)
  • Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton, 20)

Elsewhere, Sky Germany claim that Timber’s Ajax team-mate Edson Alvarez is a possible target for the midfield rebuild, though Jude Bellingham is the priority.

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)

AC Milan’s Ismael Bennacer, Inter Milan’s Nicolo Barella, Wolves‘ Ruben Neves and Leicester‘s Youri Tielemans are also touted, though the latter’s inclusion does add an element of doubt to the report.

Plettenberg also claims Moises Caicedo of Brighton remains a target, despite signing a new deal up to 2027 this month.

Liverpool are known to hold an interest in Matheus Nunes of Wolves and Mason Mount of Chelsea, with there a likelihood that three midfielders will brought in.

Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and loanee Arthur are certain to depart, while James Milner will also see his contract expire at the end of the season.

At centre-back, Liverpool are likely to sell Nat Phillips, while there are question marks over the futures of Joel Matip, whose terms are up in 2024, and Joe Gomez.