Liverpool transfer news: A late ‘U-turn’ could open up an opportunity for Jürgen Klopp, but a player who is eager to join the Reds could be set for frustration.
Liverpool knows it has long since passed the optimum time to make moves in the transfer market. Not only will any new additions now technically be joining mid-season, missing out on a whole Jürgen Klopp pre-season, but convincing teams to do business at all is an increasing complication as the deadline looms.
After all, if Liverpool buys someone this late on in the window, it gives the selling club even less time to find a replacement. Typically, anyone hoping to make signings at this point will need to pay a transfer premium, compromise on the players targeted, or even both.
Yet waiting for the perfect deal is not really a tempting option either. Taking a similar approach last summer, Liverpool inadvertently threw away Champions League football, having come so close to an unprecedented quadruple the season prior.
But all is not lost for Liverpool. There is still time to strike some sensible deals, even if the very best moves now look implausible. And one transfer might even have come onto the table for the first time at this late stage, with a ‘U-turn’ setting up an interesting few days — and a potential race with Manchester United.
Here is the Liverpool.com verdict on the transfer gossip to emerge around the Reds today.
Ryan Gravenberch (Bayern Munich)
Liverpool will not pursue Cheick Doucouré in what is left of the transfer window. Instead, it will return for Ryan Gravenberch, with renewed optimism that there is a deal to be done.
That’s according to Football Insider, which claims there has been a ‘U-turn’ within the corridors of power at Bayern Munich. It is now thought that a bid of around $38m (£30m/€35m) would be enough to find an agreement.
The Bayern stance has ‘softened’ thanks to Thomas Tuchel — while Gravenberch himself is surely a little concerned at having no involvement in the opening two fixtures of the season, watching both from the bench. Manchester United also retains a keen interest.
Liverpool.com says: All summer, Gravenberch has looked like a good option for Liverpool in the event that he becomes available. But until now, it looked as though Bayern Munich would dig its heels in.
It would have every right to do so: all signs suggest that Gravenberch is a player with a really high ceiling, and letting him go after a year could easily end up being a cause of major regret for the Bavarians.
But with Tuchel showing no particular inclination to integrate him properly into the team, perhaps Liverpool could tempt Bayern with the offer of making a profit on a player who has barely featured.
Capable as a number six or a number eight, Gravenberch would be the ideal final midfield signing for Liverpool. He would vastly improve the depth picture, but would also have a legitimate route to minutes: he would not just be swapping one bench for another.
Piero Hincapié (Bayer Leverkusen)
On top of the midfield search, Liverpool is also looking for a center-back before the end of the transfer window. He would ideally be left-footed, capable of covering for Andy Robertson while also offering a long-term succession plan for Virgil van Dijk.
One potential candidate to emerge is Piero Hincapié of Bayer Leverkusen. And according to David Lynch for This is Anfield, the Ecuadorean would ‘jump’ at the chance to join up with Klopp.
However, according to Football Insider, there is a major snag. The Bundesliga side has ‘blocked’ a Liverpool approach, informing Hincapié he is not for sale at this late stage.
Liverpool.com says: Just like Klopp, Xabi Alonso is trying to fine-tune his squad as the season gets underway, and the Bayer Leverkusen boss is well within his rights to insist on keeping Hincapié. Liverpool might have left it too late to get its man.
In midfield, various pursuits have been unsuccessful, and the departures of Fabinho and Jordan Henderson were unexpected. But it’s trickier to understand why the search for another defender has been taken down to the wire: if Hincapié is indeed off-limits now, then Liverpool has paid the price.
Still, with the player apparently keen, he’s definitely one to monitor. Even if a move doesn’t materialize this summer, it would be no surprise to see him back on the radar come January.