Christian Falk: Jorg Schmadtke ‘has an eye on’ potential Fabinho replacement for Liverpool

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It seems that Liverpool could resurrect their reported interest in a player who was heavily linked with the Reds earlier this summer, according to fresh claims from Christian Falk.

The reliable German reporter has said that Anfield sporting director Jorg Schmadtke has switched his attention towards a possible move for Manu Kone, whose name was frequently mentioned in LFC transfer dispatches in early June.

Links with the 22-year-old had cooled as other names like Romeo Lavia, Khephren Thuram and Ryan Gravenberch rose to the forefront, although it seems the Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder could be coming back into focus on Merseyside.

Falk wrote in an exclusive Substack column for CaughtOffside“At Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp is saying what he wants in the market and Schmadkte is making plans from this.

“We’ve been previously talking about Manu Kone, for example. He had a knee injury at the European U21 Championship, so it will take time, as he can’t pass any medical tests at the moment. So this could be a topic that will be interesting for English clubs like Liverpool.

“Schmadtke has an eye on him. So these are things in the background that Schmadtke is doing at the moment.”

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The landscape of Liverpool’s summer transfer plans may have shifted considerably in the past couple of days, amid rumours of potential moves to Saudi Arabia for both Jordan Henderson and Fabinho.

Losing the latter would leave Klopp with only Stefan Bajcetic as a natural defensive midfielder, and as good as the 18-year-old has been so far in his embryonic career, it’d be asking a lot of him to own that role on a consistent basis throughout the upcoming campaign.

The Spanish teenager is just working his way back from a lengthy injury layoff, too (LFC official website), which’d make it even riskier to burden him with the expectation of instantly taking over from the Brazilian.

While Kone is also confined to the treatment table at the moment, at least he has a few extra years to his name at 22 and has been a regular in the Bundesliga for the past two seasons.

He’s chiefly a central midfielder but has frequently played in the number 6 role (Transfermarkt), and it’s easy to see why when you consider that he averaged 2.5 tackles per game in the German top flight last season, more than any Liverpool player in the 2022/23 Premier League (WhoScored).

The Monchengladbach powerhouse could possibly be the man to fill the void left by Fabinho if the latter goes, and with a prospective fee of €40m-€45m (£34.2m-£38.5m) being quoted previously, he’d likely come cheaper than Lavia, for whom Southampton apparently want £50m.

That could well make the Frenchman an increasingly attractive option as the summer progresses, depending on what happens elsewhere.

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