Transfer Talk: Midfield revamp top of Klopp's Christmas list
Following an underwhelming start to the Premier League season, Liverpool will be keen to bring in reinforcements — and a midfield revamp will be top of their to-do list.
With the contracts of James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all set to end next summer, the Reds will need new faces in the engine room.
Among the names that have been linked are some of the World Cup’s star performers, such as Jude Bellingham, Enzo Fernandez and Sofyan Amrabat.
However, the Reds’ potential sale by owners Fenway Sports Group may complicate any potential transfer dealings.
Ahead of Liverpool's blockbuster Carabao Cup clash with Manchester City, we pick out five options they could look at to revamp their midfield.
Top of the list is Borussia Dortmund starlet Bellingham, who has excelled in the Bundesliga and with the England national team.
With two goals and three assists this season, the playmaker is supremely confident on the ball and enjoys taking on defenders, so far completing a remarkable 30 dribbles.
Defensively, he is all-action, registering the second-most tackles in Bundesliga (48) while regaining possession a phenomenal 65 times in the middle third.
Such impressive performances for club and country are likely to see Dortmund command a record-breaking fee, given the midfielder does not have a release clause in his contract like Erling Haaland did.
And with European giants Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester United all interested, the Reds will likely be forced to break the bank for one of football's hottest prospects.
Eyeing up Enzo
Argentina's Fernandez quickly cemented himself in La Albiceleste’s midfield after impressive cameos against Saudi Arabia and Mexico at the World Cup.
The 21-year-old went on to start every subsequent game for his country as they achieved World Cup glory in Qatar, led by the magical Lionel Messi.
His inclusion in midfield was key as he stamped out any attacking threat with his well-timed, aggressive tackling and started dangerous offensive moves.
Following his World Cup heroics, any transfer will come at a costly sum, with his current contract containing a reported release clause in excess of £100million.
Amrabat at Anfield
Another star that impressed in Qatar is Morocco's Amrabat, who helped his nation make history by becoming the first African side to reach a World Cup semi-final.
Fiorentina's No34 asserted himself among football’s best, covering every blade of grass to disrupt opponents in the centre of the field.
He enjoyed a memorable campaign in the Middle East, playing 570 minutes, recording 15 tackles and six interceptions, as well as regaining possession a commendable 25 times in the middle third.
His performances in the Italian top flight had previously caught the attention of Antonio Conte, but Spurs would eventually opt for Rodrigo Bentancur of Juventus.
Amrabat's contract in Florence is set to expire in 2024 and the club would aim to recoup the £17.5m outlay they made in 2020 should they decide to part ways with the Atlas Lions leader.
Rabiot rooting for Prem switch
Liverpool have also reportedly been in communication with France midfielder Adrien Rabiot, who played an important role in France's run to the World Cup final.
But his displays in Turin have already attracted the interest of United boss Erik ten Hag, which almost culminated in a move to Old Trafford in the summer.
It seems to be a switch that interests the 27-year-old, who has stated his wish to play in the English top flight, having enjoyed a short stint at Manchester City’s academy in 2008.
He said: "It was a very good experience [at Manchester City]. I didn't do a whole season, though.
"Everything went well while I was there. I really liked the atmosphere. It's really something that is only in England. It's different from France and Italy.
"I have always said that I'd like to play in England in my career. I still have that desire. I'd like to evolve in the Premier League."
Reds keen on Caicedo
Moises Caicedo is another who has drawn a lot of interest from Liverpool and impressed at the World Cup with Ecuador despite their group stage elimination.
The Brighton anchorman has enjoyed a fruitful season on the South coast, creating 15 chances while managing an impressive 43 tackles and 19 interceptions.
Those performances have the Reds monitoring his situation — but the 21-year-old’s current contract runs through to 2025, which could make him difficult to uproot.
With an ageing trio in Jordan Henderson (32), Thiago (31) and Fabinho (29), Caicedo would bring the Reds’ average age down, whilst also adding bags of quality.