Feyenoord captain Orkun Kokcu is a player who’s ‘liked’ by Liverpool, although they mightn’t seriously pursue him until later in the summer.
That’s according to Jacque Talbot, who was speaking exclusively with Empire of the Kop about a series of reported targets for the Reds during the upcoming transfer window.
The same reporter tweeted at the weekend that the 22-year-old ‘remains high on the agenda’ for the Anfield hierarchy, and he addressed the possibility of the Turkey international teaming up with Jurgen Klopp’s side over the off-season.
Talbot stressed that Kokcu is a player who’s on Liverpool’s radar, although he expects the club to prioritise other targets first.
He said: “Liverpool can’t be seen just getting Kokcu done. They need to get a Mac Allister in as well as a Kokcu. So I feel that if Kokcu was to be done, it’s my personal opinion that you’d probably see a Mac Allister and another signing before you’d see Kokcu.
“I don’t think it’s one you’ll see wrapped up in a few weeks. It’s one to keep an eye on. The name’s there, he’s certainly liked.”
Talbot also touched upon one possible stumbling block in his verdict on Kokcu, namely the player’s prior involvement in ‘extreme right-wing politics’, which he previously speculated could conflict with the leanings of much of Liverpool’s fan base.
The Feyenoord skipper was involved in a controversial incident last year when (as per SPORTbible) he cited religious grounds for refusing to brandish a rainbow armband, which is worn to raise awareness and support for the LGBTQ+ community.
Looking purely at the football side of the 22-year-old, it’s no wonder he’s caught the Reds’ attention, having netted 12 goals in all competitions for his club as they won a first Eredivisie title since 2016 while also progressing to the Europa League quarter-finals (Transfermarkt).
As per FBref, he also ranks among Europe’s best-performing midfielders in terms of shots per game (2.74) and progressive passes per match (12.65), marking him out as a player who’s adept at getting the ball into the final third while also regularly testing opposition goalkeepers himself.
With Alexis Mac Allister due for a medical, and conversations ongoing with the agents of Manu Kone and Khephren Thuram, as per various updates from Fabrizio Romano, those players look set to command the immediate attention of Jorg Schmadtke and co at Anfield.
It then remains to be seen if, once those pursuits end with one outcome or another, the Reds’ recruitment team push strongly for the Feyenoord captain, or whether his previous political leanings could count against him.