WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 4, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (L) and Wolverhampton Wanderers' Rayan Aït-Nouri during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool make “insistent” Rayan Ait-Nouri contact – but left-back move “blocked”

Liverpool reportedly have a strong interest in Wolves left-back Rayan Ait-Nouri, with “insistent” contact made despite the known intentions of his club.

The left-back position is a hot topic at Liverpool currently with Kostas Tsimikas stepping in for the injured Andy Robertson, and Joe Gomez has even had to make the switch.

If Liverpool had addressed the position in the summer window, the situation may have looked different, but as it stands Jurgen Klopp‘s options are clear.

However, if French outlet Le10sport are to be believed, Liverpool hold an interest in Wolves‘ Ait-Nouri.

Editor-in-chief Alexis Bernard has stated that “our sources indicate that the player is indeed the subject of ‘regular’ and ‘insistent’ contact” from the Reds.

However, Wolves will block any move as they have “no intention” to let the left-back leave the club this January, which is not surprising as he is an ever-present in their defence.

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Tuesday, January 17, 2023: Wolverhampton Wanderers' Rayan Aït-Nouri during the FA Cup 3rd Round Replay match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A winter move would also be complicated by his anticipated involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations, which starts on January 13 and could rule him out of domestic action until mid-February – much like Mohamed Salah.

Any interest in the French born 22-year-old, who represents Algeria, is not a shock from a Liverpool perspective as Ait-Nouri has both potential and plenty of first-team experience.

Using Squawka’s comparison matrix, Ait-Nouri compares very favourably to Tsimikas defensively.

The Wolves man has a better ground and aerial duel success percentage (56 percent vs. 44 percent, and 58 percent vs. 33 percent respectively).

However, Tsimikas has better numbers for attacking output, including crossing accuracy, passing accuracy long pass accuracy. Ait-Nouri, though, has a better take-on success rate.

With a contract at Wolves until 2026, they are under no immediate pressure to sell, but it is the type of signing that would make sense for Liverpool to look at.

He is established but has room for improvement, predominantly in his attacking output, and with Robertson turning 30 early next year, he would be an ideal long-term replacement.