Liverpool set for talks over £52m South American midfielder: report
Liverpool are set to enter discussions over a £52 million-rated defensive midfielder joining this club this summer.
The Reds are looking at new blood for their midfield this season with the likes of James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita all approaching the expiry of their contracts, with players such as Jordan Henderson and Fabinho growing older. Trent Alexander-Arnold has played as a kind of false midfielder in recent weeks, drifting into the centre of the pitch, though Jurgen Klopp has not suggested that this is a temporary measure to combat the lack of a top option in the side.
“Long term, we will see what we can do,” the German said about Alexander-Arnold’s role in midfield (opens in new tab). “It depends on the new players we bring in and who can play in different positions, that’s clear, but it suits him extremely well.”
Klopp referencing new buys is interesting, given that he has never previously seen Alexander-Arnold as an orthodox midfielder – meaning that his recent comments could be referring to who the Reds bring in this summer.
Ibrahima Konate has had to work twice as hard to cover the space vacated by his right-back but now one report has claimed that Liverpool are planning on bringing in a defensive midfielder to help balance the side.
Agents of Sporting midfielder Manuel Ugarte are set to speak to Liverpool over a move, according to Portuguese outlet, Record (opens in new tab). The 22-year-old has impressed in Europe this season against the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham and reportedly has a release clause of £52m.
Record says that though Sporting boss Ruben Amorim wants to retain the Uruguayan for his midfield, the Lisbon giants are ready to negotiate with willing suitors for the player.
A physical midfielder who can play either deep or as a No.8, Ugarte could well be groomed for the Fabinho role, with more creative stars either side.
Ugarte is valued at €25m by Transfermarkt (opens in new tab).
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Liverpool’s failed pursuit of Jude Bellingham has led to discussion over who is to blame, with This Is Anfield writing that the fault lies with both Jurgen Klopp and ownership FSG for FourFourTwo.
The Reds are looking at a number of possible alternatives, including Ryan Gravenberch of Bayern Munich, Inter Milan star Nicolo Barella, Brighton midfielder Moises Caidedo and Chelsea fringe midfielder Conor Gallagher. Ex-Red Jose Enrique has questioned whether the Merseysiders even needed Bellingham, anyway.