Whilst Liverpool’s focus was on revamping their midfield during the summer transfer window, it seems as though their attention has turned towards elsewhere in Jurgen Klopp’s squad this month, as they gear up for a vital Premier League title run in.
Liverpool transfer news
The Reds may not have originally planned to endure a busy month of transfer business, but Joel Matip’s season-ending injury alongside injuries to Kostas Tsimikas and Andy Robertson, among others, could have forced Liverpool’s hand.
That said, according to Football Transfers, Liverpool have held talks over a deal to sign Rayan Ait-Nouri from Wolverhampton Wanderers in a transfer that would provide cover down Klopp’s left-hand side. Meanwhile, those at Anfield may not be done when it comes to midfield additions, having reportedly joined the race for Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz.
What’s more, according to Fabrizio Romano, Liverpool have made their first move to sign a centre-back this month, making “calls” to agents. The transfer expert said in his Daily Briefing for Caught Offside: “As mentioned yesterday, Liverpool are exploring the market for potential new signings at centre-back, though it’s not something urgent or guaranteed to happen this January, as we know Liverpool generally prefer to do their business in the summer.
“I don’t have any concrete name yet at this stage, but I was just told that Liverpool have made some calls to some centre-backs’ agents to be informed on situations – it hasn’t become a concrete negotiation as of now. It’s not easy to find top players in the January window, that’s the problem.”
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Whilst it remains to be seen just who those centre-backs are, reports have linked the Merseyside club with moves for Ousmane Diomande, Goncalo Inacio and Jean-Clair Todibo, who they are reportedly in pole position for over the likes of Manchester United. So, it could yet be an interesting couple of weeks at Anfield.
Matip’s injury has forced Liverpool’s hand
Matip’s ACL injury has left Liverpool with no choice but to pursue a centre-back this month. The former Schalke man, when available, joined Ibrahima Konate, Virgil van Dijk, Jarell Quansah and Joe Gomez on a list of five solid options for Klopp to choose from. With Matip now out and his contract expiring in the summer either way, and Gomez covering the full-back role, Liverpool’s list has gone from five to three options all too quickly, raising the need for another central defender.
Like Romano, Klopp spoke about the problem of finding top players in the January transfer window, saying last month via 90Min: “In eight years here, I just never understand this. You always talk about transfers as if they would be the easiest thing in the world. Just bring in a player, find the money for it, as if we have endless money. I really don’t understand it. Everybody, you, the fans, everyone talks about it.
“They all cost money. It has to be the right player. Tell me a club who wants to sell a top, top centre-half who could play for Liverpool? Why should we start that process? We’ve only known for a few days that Joel will be out for a long time, which is really bad for us. We still have four centre-halves which is absolutely alright.”
However, the damage done by recent injuries is too great for the boss to ignore if he wants to keep fighting on four fronts.