SOUVENIR PROGRAMME

RB Leipzig confirm new transfer in huge hint at Fabio Carvalho’s future

RB Leipzig have confirmed a new signing ahead of the January transfer window, which could suggest the imminent return of Fabio Carvalho to Liverpool.

Carvalho only played 360 minutes in the first half of the season on loan at Leipzig, clocking just four full games worth over 15 appearances and only three starts.

That has led to the expectation he will return to Liverpool in January, with This Is Anfield‘s David Lynch reporting that talks have begun over the early termination of his loan deal.

Leipzig sporting director Rouven Schroder dismissed this as “typical power games” from Carvalho’s parent club, insisting that “he will get his playing time.”

The departure of long-serving midfielder Emil Forsberg to New York Red Bulls briefly raised hopes of an increased role for Carvalho.

Now, though, Leipzig have confirmed the signing of Eljif Elmas from Napoli, to replace Forsberg and almost certainly block Carvalho’s path into the first team.

Elmas has signed a four-and-a-half-year contract and will join in time for a mid-season training camp in La Manga, Spain, which begins on January 2.

Whether Carvalho will make the squad remains to be seen, with Liverpool likely to be eager to resolve his situation as soon as possible.

Leipzig manager Marco Rose has preferred another loanee, Xavi Simons, as first-choice starter in one of his two attacking midfield positions, with Forsberg and Christoph Baumgartner both playing more minutes than Carvalho.

2RJG943 LEVERKUSEN - Fabio Carvalho of RB Leipzig during the Bundesliga match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen - RB Leipzig at DE Bay Arena on May 27, 2023 in Leverkusen, Germany. AP | Dutch Height | GERRIT OF COLOGNE

Only striker Lois Openda, with 15 goals and assisted four, has contributed more than Simons’ six goals and nine assists.

If Carvalho does see his deal cut short, there is no expectation that he will return as part of Jurgen Klopp‘s first-team squad at Liverpool.

Instead, another loan is likely to be sought, with the club having initially favoured a move to another Premier League side.