On the 13th of July 2018, Liverpool Football Club completed their second summer signing in the form of former Stoke and Switzerland attacker, Xherdan Shaqiri. At a time where Reds fans around the globe were beginning to get impatient and agitated by the club and their lack of movement, Shaqiri’s signing reinstated an air of positivity, which has also been helped by the return of club football albeit in friendlies. Shaqiri becomes Liverpool’s third summer arrival after Fabinho and Naby Keita who was effectively signed last summer. But with the weeks quickly running down, where do Liverpool go in the market from here?
Let’s start with the obvious one. Nabil Fekir. What happens now? Well… It appears that Aulas, the Lyon president, has opened the door to Nabil Fekir joining Liverpool Football Club which signals a massive change in stance following the release of their deal breaking statement earlier in the window. During this time, links have surfaced of Manchester United and Bayern Munich being interested in the Frenchman. However, these have been rubbished and seem to have been a poor attempt to worry the Reds.
It was also clear that Aulas and Lyon wanted the Nabil Fekir saga to be dragged out until after this years World Cup and they’ve succeeded in doing so. By attempting to drag the saga out, had Fekir delivered at the World Cup, Lyon would have easily been able to demand a much higher fee than they previously agreed with Liverpool. Much to Aulas’ disappointment, Nabil hasn’t had half the impact his club president was expecting.
Many of us don’t believe the suggestions that the deal for Nabil Fekir is dead in the water. What’s unequivocally clear is that the Frenchman has his heart set on a move to Anfield and Liverpool Football Club. With all of the media side of the deal already complete, it would seem that all that’s left to agree, if a deal was to push ahead, is the structuring of the payments of the fee. Some suggestions that have emerged in reports suggest that Liverpool would want to break the transfer fee done over the course of Fekir’s five year deal, whilst Lyon ideally want the fee paid over two years.
At the time that this is being read, the outcome of Croatia against France should be known and then things should start to heat up a little. French journalists have refused to put this one in the ‘not happening’ pile, with some still believing that the deal takes place.
As my followers know, I don’t claim to have any inside knowledge or understanding, but I do like to give reasoned opinions on potential incoming transfers. It wouldn’t be far fetched to believe that following France’s win or exit at the FIFA World Cup, Nabil Fekir will be at the centre of Liverpool transfer dealings again. Players such as Julian Draxler, Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz have all either long been out of the World Cup or haven’t gone at all. The fact that Liverpool haven’t pushed for any of these players, or similar players, suggests that it’s Fekir and only Fekir that Jurgen Klopp wishes to pursue at this current moment.
So on Nabil Fekir? We shall see.
How many of us truly believe that Danny Ward is set to become the number one goalkeeper due to impressing rather than because the club have failed to make breakthroughs over a new goalkeeper? I suspect not many! Look, I’m all for giving Danny Ward an opportunity and I would be a hypocrite to suggest that he shouldn’t get the nod, however, that doesn’t mean his progression should be placed above the club searching for somebody new.
Let’s face facts, during a fairly dire run of goalkeeping, both Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius were both twice dropped and then reinstated for the other without even a consideration for Danny Ward.
Alisson Becker has long been a name many have the desire to see at Anfield. The Brazilian impressed immensely with AS Roma last season and thus resulted in them placing a £70m price tag on him. Liverpool have been rumoured to be interested in the Brazilian for some time, but reportedly told his representatives not to expect a bid this summer as Loris Karius began to impress. It’s fair to say, that was long before the Champions League final. However, with Brazil now out of the World Cup, Alisson Becker has been heavily mentioned again for a big money move.
Real Madrid have seemingly moved onto Thibaut Courtois after he impressed for Belgium at this World Cup, leaving Alisson to miss out on his dream move. If that’s the case and Courtois heads off to the Spanish capital, then Liverpool and Chelsea may be going head to head for Alisson. Recent reports in Italy contradict local media by constantly linking Alisson Becker to Liverpool. Trusted Italian journalists such as Di Marzio and Alessandro Austini have recently linked Alisson to Liverpool once again.
Truth be told, nobody knows what’s going to happen with Alisson Becker. Saying that, I would be very surprised if we see him line-up in Rome again next season. Whist anything can happen, Liverpool paying upwards of £60m for a goalkeeper is something none of us are expecting, but are hoping for.
With Shaqiri now in the door and able to provide much needed attacking depth, Liverpool are once again very close to having a perfect squad capable of fighting on all fronts. Nabil Fekir and a top quality goalkeeper would really see Liverpool kick on to that next level and compete. It would be most disappointing if only one of these positions get addressed as we always find ourselves saying that we’re one player short and this seems like our best opportunity to really have a go on the domestic level.
Whatever happens next, the following three weeks or so will certainly be worth keeping an eye on…