Liverpool’s attempt to sign Lyon’s Nabil Fekir collapsed over the weekend, so who could Jurgen Klopp move for instead?
Liverpool had been expected to tie up a £53m deal for Fekir, only for Lyon to dramatically bring a halt to negotiations on Saturday night.
However, while we understand Liverpool have not completely given up on the Lyon captain, Klopp will now start looking for alternatives in the transfer market.
One of those back-up options was reportedly West Ham United’s Manuel Lanzini, only for the Argentina international to injure his knee while preparing for the World Cup.
So, who may Liverpool target instead this summer to fill the void left by the departure of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in January?
We look at five possible alternatives…
Contract: Summer of 2020
Valued at: £58.5m
Liverpool came close to signing the highly-rated midfielder in August, only to see bids of £55.5m and £64.8m rejected by Monaco.
Liverpool opted not to follow up that interest again when the January transfer window opened, although the Frenchman – who is currently with his country at the World Cup – is keen on a move to Anfield, say the Independent.
However, after a largely underwhelming campaign at the Stade Louis II last season, there may be doubts as to whether Klopp make another bid for the 22-year-old.
Thomas Lemar’s 2017/18 stats Games (total/league) 38/30 Goals 3/2 Assists 10/10
Club: Bayer Leverkusen
Contract: Summer 2021
Valued at: £36m
Klopp has long been an admirer of the skilful winger, reports the Liverpool Echo, so do not rule out the Liverpool boss making a move for the player.
The Leverkusen midfielder was selected ahead of Man City’s PFA Young Player of the Year, Leroy Sane, in Germany’s World Cup squad.
Brandt enjoyed an impressive campaign for his club last season – being rewarded with a new deal in April – so any potential move could prove tricky and expensive.
Julain Brandt’s 2017/18 stats Games 39/34 Goals 12/9 Assists 7/5
Club: Real Madrid
Contract: Summer 2023
Valued at: £67.5m
Reports in the British press on Monday claimed the Spaniard, who was played sporadically by Zinedine Zidane at the Bernabeu last season, was considering leaving Real this summer in order to join Liverpool.
Reports have linked Liverpool with a move for Asensio, who missed out on selection for the World Cup, since he first broke into Madrid’s first team in the 2016/17 campaign.
Marco Asensio’s 2017/18 stats Games 53/32 Goals 11/6 Assists 6/5
Club: Paris Saint-Germain
Contract: Summer 2021
Valued at: £31.5m
Liverpool reportedly tried to sign the Germany international from Wolfsburg in January 2017, only for him to join PSG instead.
However, the 24-year-old – who can play in a number of positions in midfield – has failed to cement a regular starting berth since moving to the French capital.
Thomas Tuchel’s recent appointment as PSG coach, though, may convince the player to stay this summer, but equally the Ligue 1 champions could be persuaded to let him go so as to comply with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.
Julian Draxler’s 2017/18 stats Games 47/30 Goals 5/4 Assists 10/5 Christian Pulisic
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Contract: Summer 2020
Valued at: £40.5m (source Transfermarkt.co.uk)
Klopp knows the player well after signing him while in charge at Dortmund in February 2015 and he reportedly tried to lure the USA international to Anfield in August 2016.
Since then, the playmaker has matured significantly at the Westfalenstadion and with Dortmund rating their young star highly, prising him away this summer could prove problematic.
The player’s father, Mark, recently told Sky Sports that rumours linking his son with a move to Anfield were just “hogwash”.
Christian Pulisic’s 2017/18 stats Games 42/32 Goals 5/4 Assists 7/6