Liverpool: Klopp opens up on if new defender will be signed
Liverpool are eager to do “something interesting” in the summer transfer window when they can take advantage of “good opportunities” says Fabrizio Romano, as the Reds look to try and sign David Alaba on a free from Bayern Munich.
The Premier League champions have made it clear that they are unlikely to sign any new players in the January transfer window.
That’s despite the Reds being short of tried-and-trusted quality at centre-back with Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez sidelined by severe knee injuries and Joel Matip constantly battling niggles.
Fabinho has been partnered by Nat Phillips, Rhys Williams and even fellow midfielder Jordan Henderson as Liverpool continue to endure their widespread fitness woes.
But Romano says part of their desire not to sign a new central defender in the winter window is because they would prefer to go for “good opportunities” in the summer.
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They include Alaba, who will be available without the need for a transfer fee come the end of the campaign.
Alaba’s contract at the Allianz Arena expires in June and the versatile 28-year-old, who has spent much of this season at centre-back, is coveted by numerous European clubs.
Romano says Liverpool are among them with the highly-rated Austrian also able to play at left-back or in central midfield having been a major part of the Bayern team that has dominated the Bundesliga over the past eight years and which also won the Champions League last term.
Romano told Give Me Sport: “They [Liverpool] are among the five clubs trying for David Alaba but Real Madrid are leading the race so it’s difficult in this moment.
“But Liverpool is trying and this is [what they mean] when they say, ‘We want to do something interesting’.
“Good opportunities because, in this market, it is so difficult to do as Chelsea did last summer, it is easier to go for good opportunities.”
He added: “Jurgen Klopp said, I think is being honest and it’s not usual for a manager but he has been honest, just because they will like a centre back, for sure, they need a centre back, as you say because of many injuries.
“But you know, a lot of players are like worried [thinking] ‘I’m joining Liverpool, I go there for two months, I play, then Van Dijk is back, stars are back, like Matip and other players, Joe Gomez, and I’m not playing, I’m on the bench for the next season’ and everything.
“For sure, [Ozan] Kabak has been scouted also [Sven] Botman. About Botman, we heard a lot of talks about possible medicals and something but it’s absolutely not true at the moment.
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“For sure, Liverpool appreciate the player but they have not done anything with the manager, the player the agent or with the club, with Lille in this case.”
Liverpool also have to contend with the issue of Barcelona-linked Gini Wijnaldum’s uncertain future with the Dutchman out of contract at Anfield in the summer.
Romano explained: “Talking with people around Gini, I’ve been told that he has been respectful to Liverpool. Before Christmas, he spoke with the club, he received a new bid from Liverpool, like in the first week of December, to try to extend his contract and it was not an amazing bid in Gini’s idea.
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“He was expecting something different but he said ‘Okay, let’s take some time. I want to speak with my family. I want to decide in the next week, so give me some time to decide and I won’t talk with any other clubs’.
“If he will refuse Liverpool, for sure, Barcelona will be one of the options because as you said, like last summer, they were pushing and pushing to get him.
“Pay attention to the situation of Koeman, because the man who wanted Wijnaldum at Barcelona was Ronald Koeman and (still) is Ronald Koeman.
“He loves Wijnaldum, he had him, obviously, training with the Dutch national team, but if the new president of Barcelona will change the situation, and will go for a different manager next season, I don’t know if Barcelona will go for Wijnaldum.”
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