Liverpool want Jude Bellingham but may look at other midfield options in January

Jurgen Klopp admitted towards the end of the summer that there are times when he would like to take more “risks” when it comes to signing.

Their Liverpool The team certainly needs a quality injection as they look to make up ground in the race for a top four finish at the Premier league and also challenge for glory in the FA Cup Y Champions League.

“From a sporting point of view, we are always prepared,” says Klopp. “It is clear what kind of ideas we have and what is the need from our point of view. Everything else is not 100 percent in our hands. We always work with what we have and that will not change. You can imagine with the situation we are in, we are watching, but if something happens, we’ll see.”

Last three January window expenses

2022: £50 million (louis diaz)

2021: £1.5 million (ben daviesOzan Kabak – loan)

2020: £7.25 million (takumi minamino)

How much money is likely to be available?

The situation is complicated by the fact that Liverpool’s owner, Fenway Sports Group (FSG), is currently trying to attract new investment. FSG is open to offers either for a full takeover or the sale of a minority stake in the club. Those discussions are ongoing.

Senior officials at Liverpool insist it is “business as usual” and that means keeping its business model self-sustaining. There is no set amount of money set aside for this January window, and each potential deal is judged on its financial merits.

For example, Liverpool weren’t initially going to get stronger 12 months ago, but ended up moving quickly as the deadline loomed. tottenham to Díaz’s signing after it became clear Porto was willing to sell for £50 million ($60.3 million). Diaz had been his main target for the following summer’s window.

A year before that, they were reluctant to buy a defender, having signed a summer deal with RB Leipzig for Ibrahima Konatebut an injury crisis meant they had to change their plans and make two cheap, provisional signings in Davies and Kabak.

Who makes the key transfer decisions?

Klopp is the most prominent figure. He has always had the last word on transfers, but his influence on the process seems to be increasing. He pushed hard in the summer to sign Darwin Nunez from Benfica for a fee that could amount to a club record £85 million. He also sanctioned the £35m sale of Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich in that same window.

The manager has been part of a decision-making triumvirate with FSG president Mike Gordon holding the purse strings and sporting director Julian Ward.

However, Gordon recently handed over some of his responsibilities to CEO Billy Hogan, who stepped back and turned his attention to finding new investment. That change in the chain of command made Ward decide to inform FSG last month that he would be stepping down at the end of the season, even though he officially replaced Michael Edwards in May.

“It was a surprise when Julian told me, but we will work together as normal until the day he leaves,” Klopp said. “Julian is 100% committed and everything is fine. We never had a problem, and we won’t have a problem. It will not have any impact during this period.”

Klopp and Hogan are tasked with deciding how best to fill the void that Ward’s departure will create and that process is already underway.

Head of recruiting Dave Fallows and head scout Barry Hunter also have their say in transfer decisions. Klopp’s opinion is the one that carries the most weight but he still needs the financial outlay to be approved by the FSG.

What position is the priority?

Midfield. It was a blatant weakness for Liverpool in the first half of this season. They lacked control and energy in midfield. The problem was aggravated by injuries to naby keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Y curtis jones.

They should have strengthened that department in early summer, but they waited and ended up bringing Arthur Melo on loan from juventus the day of the deadline. It hasn’t worked. The Brazilian has played just 13 minutes of football for the club and is currently recovering from surgery to fix a thigh problem.

Arthur Melo has barely appeared for Liverpool (Photo: Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

With Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain and james milner All set to be out of contract at the end of the season, Klopp’s midfield department is in need of an extensive revamp. That process should start next month. It won’t be cheap, so FSG is looking for new investment.

It could also be argued that Liverpool need another attacker to bolster their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.

injuries to Diogo Jotá and Diaz have seriously dented Klopp’s firepower. So much responsibility falls on Mohamed Salah and Nunez. The manager doesn’t have the same level of backing that he did last season, when he could call on Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino.

Who are the plausible targets?

Jude Bellingham is the main goal of Liverpool’s midfield, but that would be one for next summer rather than January. There are few prospects for Borussia Dortmund entertaining the idea of ​​selling the gifted England international midway through this season.

Liverpool have been strongly linked with World cup winner Enzo Fernandezwho was named young player of the tournament in Qatar 2022, but senior Anfield sources have dismissed reports that they are in advanced talks to sign the Argentine star. Benfica wants 105 million pounds for him. However, assistant manager Pep Lijnders admitted that he is a big fan of the 21-year-old.

florentine Sofia Amrabat, which impressed at the World Cup with surprise semi-finalists Morocco, would be a cheaper alternative, especially if Liverpool need to retain funds to try to win the battle for Bellingham in the summer. Their A league The club is understood to value Amrabat at around £35m.

Brighton‘s Moses Caicedo and RB Leipzig’s Konrad Laimer have been on his radar, but the latter is expected to join Bayern Munich next summer.

Who could get out?

It’s hard to see Liverpool raking in much cash from sales next month. With the injury situation and hectic schedule, Klopp will be reluctant to reduce his options further. Most of those on the fringes of the squad will be needed as a cover.

One player who could be allowed out is Nat Phillips, who is valued at around £10m.

The combative centre-back was ready to move on last summer, but Klopp had to ask him to stay afterward. Joel Matip he suffered a groin injury just before the start of the season.

Nat Phillips has featured for Liverpool this season but could be available for transfer (Photo: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

That dashed Phillips’ hopes of sealing a season-long loan move to Portuguese giants Benfica. It had also attracted the interest of southampton Y Burnley.

Phillips has only featured four times this term and is keen to play more regularly having enjoyed his loan spell at Bournemouth during the second half of last season. He excelled on the south coast and helped them win promotion to the Premier League.

A lot depends on whether his core partners Virgil van DykeAcquaintance, joe gomez and Matip to stay in shape as Phillips could still play a role.

Which World Cup star would be perfect for Liverpool?

The easy answer to that is Bellingham.

It meets all the requirements for Liverpool. His skill set and maturity for someone so young are remarkable. He could be at the heart of this team for the next decade. He was saying how much more effective the Liverpool captain is. jordan henderson watched the World Cup with the legs and dynamism of Bellingham and Declan Rice operating around you.

There was also much to admire in the Argentina midfield. Or Fernandez or Alexis McAllisterCurrently with Brighton, he would be a real asset if they upheld the standards set in Qatar.

(Main Photos: Getty Images)

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