MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

Liverpool “looking at defensive targets” after pulling out of Andre transfer

With Liverpool not considering a move for Fluminense midfielder Andre, who is likely to join Fulham, Liverpool are claimed to be “looking at defensive targets.”

Andre was widely believed to be a target for Liverpool ahead of the January transfer window, following an enquiry over the 22-year-old over the summer.

But This Is Anfield‘s David Lynch later reported that a move for the Brazil international was not in the works.

The campaign is almost over for Fluminense and, after lifting the Copa Libertadores, they are set to finish mid-table in the Brazilian Serie A, with four games left to play after Thursday’s 1-0 win over Sao Paulo.

Their No. 7 is then expected to depart for England, though his most likely destination is not Liverpool, but Fulham.

According to the Evening Standard‘s Nizaar Kinsella, Fulham have “moved ahead” of both Liverpool and Man United after “face-to-face talks” in Brazil last week.

2PY4FHA RJ - RIO DE JANEIRO - 05/02/2023 - LIBERTADORES 2023, FLUMINENSE X RIVER PLATE - Andre player of Fluminense during a match against River Plate at the Maracana stadium for the 2023 Libertadores championship. Photo: Thiago Ribeiro/AGIF (via AP)

The fee is set to be around £30 million, and while United have “only enquired so far,” Liverpool are described as “out of the race.”

Fulham could get a clear run at Andre, then, with Liverpool instead “looking at defensive targets” ahead of any potential addition in January.

It remains to be seen whether this is the case or it is simply speculation, with Jurgen Klopp‘s defence in strong form so far this season.

While many had hoped for a new left-sided centre-back to be brought in over the summer, the manager persisted with his existing options while promoting Jarell Quansah from the academy.

Quansah has stepped up significantly, while Virgil van Dijk is nearing peak form again and both Joel Matip and Joe Gomez have impressed after difficult spells.

There remain question marks over Ibrahima Konate‘s long-term fitness, however, while injury to Andy Robertson has left Kostas Tsimikas as starting left-back.

TOULOUSE, FRANCE - Thursday, November 9, 2023: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold during the UEFA Europa League Group E match-day 4 game between Toulouse FC and Liverpool FC at the Stadium de Toulouse. Toulouse won 3-2. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

But Tsimikas signed a new contract in September and there is little chance he will be replaced, and on the opposite flank Klopp has Gomez and the returning Conor Bradley as backup to Trent Alexander-Arnold.

The debate over whether Alexander-Arnold should be moved into midfield on a full-time basis has sparked up again over the international break, with the 25-year-old having shone there in England’s 2-0 win over Malta.

If Klopp does consider that – which would explain the decision not to pursue Andre – then a new first-choice right-back could be required.

In all likelihood it will be a quiet January for Liverpool, who as it stands do not appear in need of major spending mid-season.