Liverpool interested in ‘defensive genius’; club director has already made transfer future clear – The Athletic

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Liverpool are reportedly said to hold an interest in Bayer Leverkusen’s Exequiel Palacios, though the club’s managing director for sport, Simon Rolfes, has made clear that an exit will not happen.

The defensive midfielder has been described as a ‘defensive genius’ for Xabi Alonso’s men, amassing some impressive stats in The Athletic’s analysis.

“Bayer Leverkusen’s managing director for sport, Simon Rolfes, has said Exequiel Palacios is going nowhere this summer,” Carl Anka reported for the publication.

“This is why he wants to keep him amid Liverpool’s interest.

Leverkusen regard Palacios as a defensive genius. He is a touch-tight tackler (as shown by his defending intensity score of 88), who matches a high-energy style with effectiveness when looking to win the ball (defending impact score of 75).”

The Merseysiders had been keen on landing a specialist No.6 to replace now Saudi Pro League star Fabinho, though rapidly changed direction after settling on Wataru Endo of Stuttgart.

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As such, we’d be massively surprised to have seen the club make a move for the Bundesliga star regardless given our current preference for a multi-functional midfielder.

READ MORE: Discussions ongoing: Liverpool lining up ‘last-minute’ transfer this summer amid agent talks – Fabrizio Romano

READ MORE: What transfer insider has heard from Liverpool as West Ham could compete for signing

Far more likely now is the signing of fellow German top-flight star Ryan Gravenberch, with whom we are understood to be engaging in talks following an apparent softening of Bayern Munich’s stance.

Going into the campaign with added depth in the holding midfield role (the former Ajax man can, and has, played in a deeper role for both the Eredivisie side and Bayern) beyond the signings of Endo, Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister would have to be lauded as a superb show of intent from Liverpool.

Even more so if we can cap it off with the purchase of extra cover in the backline before the window closes on 1st September.

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