Liverpool have entered the race to sign Youri Tielemans and could swoop in January, and a telling update from Fabrizio Romano has provided bittersweet news.
Replicating a campaign that almost produced a quadruple was always going to be difficult. However, few predicted just how far Liverpool’s standards would fall this season.
The Reds have won just two of seven in the league and and are already 10 points off table-topping Arsenal. Perhaps of more immediate concern is the four-point gap to fourth spot and Champions League qualification.
The reasons why Liverpool are struggling have been picked apart in great detail in the media. However, the one area that all sources unanimously agree is a problem is the midfield.
Liverpool’s midfield are failing to impact games at both ends of the pitch. Their inability to press as they used to is giving opposition players time and space to exploit Liverpool’s high defensive line.
It’s fair to say the defenders have all underperformed too. However, the sheer weight of attacks they’re being tasked with repelling has increased due to insufficient pressure being placed on the opposition playmakers.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and James Milner will all be off contract next summer. As such, midfield reinforcements in 2023 are expected.
Jude Bellingham appears to be their primary target and the latest on that transfer saga can be found here.
However, multiple midfielders may need to be signed and according to Calciomercato, Leicester’s Youri Tielemans could be one.
Tielemans won’t extend Leicester stay
The Italian outlet put Liverpool in the picture for a January swoop alongside Juventus and Real Madrid. The Sun insist the Reds’ main competition will come from Manchester United and Arsenal.
Tielemans is in the final year of his deal at the King Power. Calcio declare he won’t pen fresh terms, something he probably would already have done if he did have intentions of staying.
Arsenal were heavily linked with Tielemans over the summer but opted against tabling a bid. However, given he’ll only have six months left on his deal come January, his reduced price may be too good to ignore.
Reports put Tielemans value last summer around the £25m mark. That figure will decrease in the winter window given it’ll be Leicester’s last chance to generate a fee.
Romano update is bittersweet for Liverpool
Via Caught Offside, transfer specialist, Fabrizio Romano, stressed Liverpool’s priority is to sign a “top midfielder”. Whether Tielemans fits that moniker is open to debate.
His levels at Leicester have dipped over the last 14 months, though he remains a firm fixture in the Belgian national side.
What’s more, he showed more than enough to warrant a move to a ‘big six’ club in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 campaigns when helping Leicester to successive fifth-placed finishes.
However, Romano hinted Liverpool’s plans may be geared more towards the summer window, rather than winter.
He also stressed there’ll be no knee-jerk reactions from Klopp, again insinuating a January move for someone like Tielemans might not be in their thinking.
Romano told Caught Offside: “There’s no escaping it, this has been a poor start to the season from Liverpool as they dropped more points this weekend with a 3-3 draw at home to Brighton.
“Still, this is a club with a method of doing things. I don’t expect any knee-jerk reactions from Jurgen Klopp.
“They’re very happy with recent signings like Luis Diaz and Ibrahima Konate. Their plan keeps going for the present and future [and] I’m told the priority will be a top midfielder.
“Then at the end of the season we will see how they will decide to proceed.
“Don’t write Liverpool off yet. I think this team is still very good and able to get into the top four.”
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