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2RXB7TB Dortmund, Deutschland. 23rd Sep, 2023. 23.09.2023, Fussball, Saison 2023/2024, 1. Bundesliga, 5. Spieltag, Borussia Dortmund - VfL Wolfsburg, Maxence Lacroix (VfL Wolfsburg), Foto: Dennis Ewert/RHR-FOTO/dpa/Alamy Live News

Maxence Lacroix transfer story cleared up – and journalist ‘confirms’ interest in striker

Reports linking Liverpool with a move for Wolfsburg centre-back Maxence Lacroix appear wide of the mark, but there is more substance to claims over a striker.

Around 24 hours after Jurgen Klopp confirmed an ACL injury for Joel Matip that would require surgery, sources in England touted the Reds with a new signing.

The Mirror‘s John Cross was among those to run a story on Wolfsburg’s Lacroix, who emerged from the same Sochaux academy as Ibrahima Konate before being signed by Jorg Schmadtke.

A January deal in the region of £25 million was mooted, though there was skepticism around the timing of the reports – as Liverpool never operate in this way.

Klopp went on to insist that a move for a centre-back in January was unlikely, with the manager happy with his remaining options in Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Jarell Quansah along with Konate.

Sky Germany’s Sven Tollner has now reported that there is no interest in Lacroix heading into the winter transfer window.

The 23-year-old may have found himself on a long-list of potential targets, with Liverpool almost certainly weighing up their next moves in defence.

But as with former team-mate Micky van de Ven over the summer, there appears no concrete plan to make a move for Lacroix.

There would seem to be more substance in previous reports linking Liverpool with Hoffenheim striker Maximilian Beier, however.

Beier was among a number of attackers linked with a move to Anfield last week, with SportBILD claiming the Reds “have him on the list” ahead of a possible summer transfer.

Given the source there had been doubts over whether Klopp’s side were, in fact, interested, but Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg has now corroborated that report.

In a post on Twitter, Plettenberg wrote that “many clubs in England enquired about him,” specifically mentioning Liverpool.

The 21-year-old, who has six goals and four assists in 13 Bundesliga outings so far this season – averaging a goal or assist every 91 minutes, with three assists in a 3-2 win over Stuttgart in October – has a release clause in his contract worth €30 million (£25.7m).

That clause can be activated at the end of the season, with Plettenberg explaining the likelihood is that Beier “will leave Hoffenheim in summer.”

If Liverpool were to pursue a young striker like Beier, it would suggest a shakeup of the existing attacking group – which may cast doubt over whether a move is realistic.