According to an update from Christian Falk, Liverpool look set to be frustrated over two reported transfer targets from Bayer Leverkusen.
The Reds have been linked with Exequiel Palacios and Piero Hincapie in recent days and may have been hoping their connections with the Bundesliga club’s manager Xabi Alonso would help to curry favour, but it appears very much that the Merseysiders will be given short shrift.
Writing for the Daily Briefing on CaughtOffside, the German football journalist stated: “At Leverkusen they’re very clear that they don’t want any more exits from the club – and that includes Exequiel Palacios despite rumours around Liverpool. Piero Hincapie is another player considered ‘not for sale’.
“Leverkusen are doing very well in the Bundesliga and Palacios is a part of Xabi Alonso’s plans for the campaign. The same goes for Hincapie.
“Leverkusen have similar problems to what Liverpool have had in the past with Edmond Tapsoba in that they need Hincapie for when the Burkinabé links up with Burkino Faso for the AFCON later in winter. So they won’t let him go.”
With Ryan Gravenberch set to complete his move from Bayern Munich today, assuming his medical goes as planned, the addition of a fourth midfielder at Liverpool this summer would reduce the need to bring in Palacios.
It’s easy to see why the Reds would’ve been targeting the Argentina international until they broke ground in their pursuit of the Dutchman, so they shouldn’t be too upset over Leverkusen’s hardline stance on the 2022 World Cup winner.
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However, Jurgen Klopp may well be frustrated that Hincapie now seems unattainable, with the Merseysiders at risk of facing a centre-back shortage amid Ibrahima Konate’s injury and Virgil van Dijk’s suspension.
The Ecuadorian would’ve offered a left-footed option at the heart of defence who can also fill in at left-back (Transfermarkt), so he may have been a hugely valuable asset for Liverpool to have in a season where squad rotation will be crucial.
It’s a shame that the 21-year-old looks out of reach for the Reds, but with little more than 12 hours remaining until the transfer deadline, Jorg Schmadtke must instead focus his efforts on trying to bring in a defender who we’ve a reasonable chance of signing by 11pm tonight.