Liverpool have a very good chance of signing Naby Keita and Virgil van Dijk if we qualify for the Champions League, says Andy Hunter of the Guardian.
The respected Merseyside correspondent told our friends at Anfield HQ that Red Bull Leipzig’s midfielder is a realistic target, as is Southampton’s brilliant centre-back – but Hunter doesn’t think Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette is one we’ll go after.
“Champions League will be a determining factor on all number one targets but it’s not the be all and end all for a club like Liverpool, with the club’s pulling power,” he began.
“I do think both players are exactly what Liverpool need and Klopp is circumspect when it comes to discussing what he wants. He’ll speak generally about transfers but he won’t go into detail on names or specify the type of player he needs because of what it would say about the players already at the club.
“It’s quite evident that both players [Van Dijk and Keita] are high on his transfer wish-list and I certainly think in terms of Keita, I think Liverpool have a very good chance of getting him.
“I don’t think [Lacazette] is the main target but it’s certainly credible. He’s been linked to the Premier league for 3 or 4 years now and if Liverpool have the money and Champions League football to offer and they’ve got the manager & the squad, I don’t think it is a struggle for Klopp to sell Liverpool as a genuine challenger.”
Van Dijk, Keita and Lacazette would seemingly strengthen our much-maligned spine tenfold.
The former will cost £50m, but according to the Echo, we’re happy to break our transfer record in order to bring him in…
Keita has blossomed in Germany and is the closest thing we’ve seen to N’Golo Kante on the continent, while Lacazette provides bucketloads of goals (but little else).
It’s for this reason that we’re not sure if Klopp will go for the Frenchman, as he prefers selfless workhorses in the front-three, with Roberto Firmino epitomising the kind of attacker our manager likes.
If we can acquire Van Dijk and Keita though, not only our squad but our starting XI for 2017/18 will look much stronger already.