Liverpool had tried to raid UCL top seeds for 6 ft dynamo who Klopp ‘wanted’ in summer – report

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Liverpool ended the summer transfer window with four new midfield signings, and according to reports from Italy, they’d pushed hard for a fifth.

Monday’s print edition of Corriere dello Sport claimed (via Sport Witness) that Jurgen Klopp ‘wanted to buy’ Eljif Elmas from Napoli, with the Reds offering €30m (£25.7m) for the midfielder.

However, the Serie A title holders – who duly earned top seed status for this season’s Champions League – replied with a ‘firm and decisive’ rejection, with the comfort of knowing that he’s still under contract for two more years and the intention of using him throughout the 2023/24 campaign.

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Elmas made a valuable contribution to Napoli’s runaway Serie A success last term, scoring six goals and setting up another three in that triumphant league campaign. However, he’s had a peripheral role in the early weeks of the current season, playing just 21 minutes so far under Rudi Garcia (Transfermarkt).

The 6-foot North Macedonia international is primarily a central midfielder but can play anywhere across the middle of the park or the attack, as well as in a number 10 role (Transfermarkt).

The 23-year-old boasts an impressive 87.6% pass completion rate over the last 12 months, placing him among the top 14% of midfielders in Europe’s five main leagues in that timeframe (FBref).

As a versatile operator who chipped in with several contributions in a Serie A-winning campaign and who’s yet to hit his peak years, it’s little wonder that Klopp was eager to land Elmas for Liverpool during the summer.

Whether the same efforts will be made in January remains to be seen, considering how efficiently the Reds overhauled their midfield since the start of June, but should that position still be on the agenda, a repeat swoop for the North Macedonian could be worth a shot.

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