Football’s hiatus has created a cloud of uncertainty and one large cloud hovers over the transfer market.
So when some form of normality returns, will football clubs – even the richest and most powerful – be willing to splurge substantial capital at a time of great economic uncertainty? And on the other hand, can football clubs really afford to turn down ‘big bucks’ for their prized assets given the current climate?
You see, the picture is hazy. The extent of Liverpool’s recruitment drive this summer may even be dependant on the activity of their closest rivals. The likes of United, Chelsea and Spurs are all playing catch-up – literally – given that the Reds are 25-points clear and champions in waiting. So if their rivals don’t break the bank, why should Jurgen Klopp feel under pressure to flex Liverpool’s financial muscle at a time like this?
So take each and every transfer rumour with a large chunk of salt. Things are changing every day. The vast echelons of FIFA, UEFA and the FA are no closer to knowing when football will return than we are.
Nonetheless, there is still plenty of pundits and journalists linking the Reds with players from all over Europe and the world. For example, Timo Werner, RB Leipzig’s star striker, is still being touted as an ‘inevitable’ transfer by some and ‘edging closer’ to LFC by others.
Christian Falk – head of football at @BILD_Sport & @SPORTBILD – was pretty candid this week. In an intriguing interview with @JanAageFjortoft, he said that Klopp is dubbed the ‘man catcher’ in his native land. The German is thus keen to meet the 24-year-old, he asserts, because “he knows once he’s (Werner) sitting there it is really hard to say no”.
RB Leipzig’s CEO Oliver Mintzlaff, however, made it clear that the club is yet to receive an approach for German international. “Neither Jurgen Klopp nor Karl-Heinz Rummenigge have contacted me”, Mintzlaff said last week.
So uncertainty reigns. Werner’s mightily impressive goalscoring record, coupled with a relatively insubstantial release clause (somewhere in the region of 40-50million) means he’ll have plenty of suitors. Klopp is just one.
And could Leipzig already be preparing for Werner’s exit? That’s the view of Jean-Julien Beer of Weser-Kurier. He reports that the German side are in talks to sign Werder Bremen forward Milot Rashica as his replacement. There may even be an announcement as early as this month if you believe Beer.
The Arsenal starlet put pen to paper on a 7,000-a-week contract in September 2018, but he’s about the enter the final 12 months of his deal with the Gunners. The Reds, according to Footaball.London.com, are keeping tabs.
The winger-cum-full-back has earned plaudits for a number impressive displays down the Arsenal left flank. He’s a young, nimble fleet-footed footballer with pace in abundance. It’s a well-documented fact that Klopp’s men are short of cover for Andrew Robertson. So Saka’s versatility may put him on Liverpool’s transfer wishlist.
Saka is yet to hold talks with Arsenal representatives about a new deal. The youngster’s future is on hold as the club’s hierarchy deal with the ramifications of the pandemic. As per Football.London, the Englishman has also attracted the attention of Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.
- Inter Milan midfielder Marcelo Brozovic continues to be linked. The Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano says his agents are locked in contract negotiations with Inter. The Croatian currently has a release clause in the region of 50million. Liverpool are monitoring the situation with interest.
- Xherdan Shaqiri and Dejan Lovren’s futures at Liverpool are in doubt. The latter almost exited the club last summer. The Athletic’s James Pearce, however, believes the Merseyside club are in no rush to sell. Naby Keita, meanwhile, retains the faith of the manager after a stop-start beginning to his Anfield career.
- Sadio Mane to Real Madrid? Well, the Evening Standard understands that Zinedine Zidane is a big admirer. The Frenchman is hoping to lure the Senegalese to the Bernabeu as part of a colossal spending spree. That may prove to be difficult given the financial consequences of Covid-19 of course.