Liverpool is actively seeking a replacement for Fabinho, who appears to be heading for a lucrative transfer to Saudi Arabia, with Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips catching their attention.
The offer from Al-Ittihad for Fabinho has been received and the player has been allowed to proceed with medical examinations and finalizing the deal. As a result, he has not joined Jurgen Klopp’s squad for their pre-season training camp in Germany, indicating his imminent departure to the Saudi Pro League.
In preparation for this departure, Liverpool has been exploring potential replacements. According to reports from Sky Sports, Kalvin Phillips, who currently plays for Manchester City, is on their radar. Additionally, the club is considering other options, such as Bayern Munich’s Ryan Gravenberch and Fiorentina’s Sofyan Amrabat.
Phillips faced limited game time during his debut season at Manchester City, featuring in only 21 matches across all competitions. The defensive midfield role often saw Rodri preferred over him. Despite his desire to remain at the Etihad, there is a possibility of his departure, with Liverpool, West Ham, and Newcastle reportedly among the interested parties.
Liverpool previously had the opportunity to sign Phillips last summer, but chose not to pursue the deal, eventually opting for Arthur on loan from Juventus. However, given their midfield issues during the past season, the club might now regret that decision.
Injuries to Naby Keita, Arthur, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Thiago, along with performances below par from Jordan Henderson and Fabinho, highlighted the need for midfield reinforcements. The Reds have already acquired Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai from Brighton and RB Leipzig this summer, but they are likely to make further signings if Fabinho departs, and potentially more if Henderson’s exit is also granted.
Previously linked players like Romeo Lavia and Moises Caicedo remain potential options, but Liverpool might consider more experienced campaigners to compensate for the departures of Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner, and Keita, who left upon the expiry of their contracts last month.
After securing a convincing 3-0 victory against Leeds in September 2021, Jurgen Klopp openly discussed the pivotal role of neutralizing Phillips in Liverpool’s triumph at Elland Road. The German manager shed light on their tactical approach, explaining, “Our focus was on nullifying Phillips, which was crucial, and disrupting the passes they intended to play to locate him at the center of the pitch. By doing so, we managed to disrupt a significant part of their game plan.”