Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was forced into a deadline day transfer for Juventus midfielder Arthur Melo after suffering a number of injury blows in the early weeks of the season.
Liverpool are plotting a move for Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz – and reports suggest Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could go the other way.
Jurgen Klopp left it late to finally accept that the Reds’ midfield injury crisis meant a transfer was required in the final throes of the window. Having staunchly stuck to his guns and claimed Liverpool didn’t need another midfielder, Klopp changed tact as the deadline loomed large.
“I know we have had this discussion since it all started and I am the one who said we don’t need a midfielder and you were all right and I was wrong,” he joked last month. Their desperate late pursuit came after Jordan Henderson joined the likes of Naby Keita, Thiago Alcantara, Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in having fitness issues.
And Anfield bosses satisfied Klopp’s desire by sanctioning a deadline-beating deal for Juventus outcast Arthur Melo. The 26-year-old signed from the Bianconeri on a season-long loan, with an option to make that deal permanent next year.
But even if Arthur becomes a fully fledged Liverpool player, there is still a need for further reinforcements in the weakest area of Klopp’s squad. Jude Bellingham is believed to be the club’s top target for 2023, after accepting that it would be impossible to sign the Borussia Dortmund wonderkid this summer.
However, there is still a fear that 12 months down the line Dortmund will play hardball over the England international, who will likely cost in the region of £100million. Villa’s Luiz signifies a significantly cheaper and more affordable option.
The Brazilian has just one year remaining on his current contract at Villa Park and has thus far shown no signs he will be willing to extend the arrangement. That means he will be available on a free next summer – or at a bargain price in January.
Arsenal attempted to sign the 24-year-old in their own late push for transfers, but saw several bids rebuffed by the Midlands outfit. Villa were adamant they would retain the former Manchester City man and will now attempt to engage him in talks.
Calciomercato reports that Liverpool will attempt to disrupt those negotiations by putting a package together to sign him in the January window. It is suggested that Oxlade-Chamberlain could go the other way in an attempt to appease Villa’s need for an immediate replacement.
Luiz would arrive on Merseyside with a glowing endorsement from the club’s greatest ever midfielder in Steven Gerrard. The former Reds skipper has worked up close and personal with the player since being named Villa boss last year and described him as a “top player”.
“From a personal point of view I very much back the club’s decision and stance on that. “I spoke to Dougie yesterday on that and he understood where it was at and the position that the club was in and very much respects the decision.”