Liverpool’s next major transfer may have become clear as sporting director makes £63m claim
It’s not the summer for a radical change at Anfield. There will be no revolution in Jürgen Klopp’s team; only minor adjustments.
It’s the summer of longevity and FSG and the club’s new sporting director, Julian Ward, will focus on the long-term future of some of Klopp’s key stalwarts.
With Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino yet to sign new contracts, among others, Ward will spend the vast majority of his time negotiating with representatives of current Liverpool stars rather than newcomers.
Of course, when club rivals Manchester City prepare to pay big bucks and marquee signings, this type of strategy will be a concern for fans around Anfield. But with an impressive squad, FSG should have no qualms about maintaining their position, particularly when top Liverpool targets might not even be available this summer.
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For example, Borussia Dortmund have made it clear that they won’t allow Jude Bellingham to leave the club following Erling Haaland’s departure. Meanwhile, another Liverpool target in Christopher Nkunku will also have his way blocked by his club this summer.
Speaking at a press conference, RB Leipzig sporting director Oliver Mintzlaff told reporters that the club would seek to offer Nkunku a new contract and that the France international would not leave the club this summer.
“We have clearly discussed it internally,” Mintzlaff told reporters, via the Daily Mirror. “We won’t let Nkunku go this summer, we told him and his agent.”
On the surface this may seem like a blow to Liverpool, but in reality it is anything but. This summer, with the focus on securing the future of the club’s current players, Nkunku will not have been a priority for the club. But in a year, that could change.
Next summer there is a greater chance that one of Salah, Firmino or Mané will leave the club for new pastures and open up space for a new attacking signing – an empty Nkunku, supposedly valued at around 63m of pounds, is well placed to fill given that he has the quintessential traits to succeed in Klopp gegenpressing system.
The extra year will also give Liverpool scouts the opportunity to seek out Nkunku more. After all, his impressive numbers this season are a major improvement on his previous output and Liverpool will have the opportunity to determine whether their purple spot was a mere anomaly or an upward trajectory.
Liverpool may have to wait. But it’s a strategy they’ve been happy to do in the past and are good at. RB Leipzig kept them waiting to sign both Naby Keïta and Ibrahima Konaté for an entire year. It may be the same for Christopher Nkunku.