Romano delivers blow to Liverpool over Reds-linked 18y/o – but there’s a pathway for a future swoop

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Fabrizio Romano has given the famous ‘here we go’ to a move involving one reported Liverpool transfer target, but Anfield isn’t the destination in this instance.

In April, GOAL claimed that the Reds were eyeing a swoop for highly coveted Schalke 04 youngster Assan Ouedraogo, whose style of play had drawn comparisons with Xabi Alonso.

However, while the 18-year-old is on the move this summer, he’s staying within Germany, as reported by the Italian transfer guru on Thursday morning.

Romano posted on X: “Assane Ouédraogo to RB Leipzig, here we go! Deal signed and sealed today with talented 18-year-old midfielder. RB Leipzig trigger €10m release clause after Bayern left the negotiations last week. Five-year deal signed, announcement to follow today as @SkySportDE called.”

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Despite Schalke’s miserable 2.Bundesliga campaign as they languished in mid-table, Ouedraogo earned rave reviews for his performances and would surely have made an even bigger impact had a ligament tear not sidelined him for four months.

Maybe his chequered injury record this season ultimately deterred Liverpool from truly pushing for him, along with the significant upheaval of a change of manager and the ensuing movement among the backroom staff at Anfield.

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By joining Leipzig, though, the 18-year-old may have indirectly laid the foundations for a future swoop by the Reds, who’ve signed more players from the Red Bull-owned club than any other since 2017 (Transfermarkt).

A deal for Naby Keita was clinched that year, with Ibrahima Konate following suit in 2021 and Dominik Szoboszlai mirroring that move last July.

Liverpool have established a good working relationship with Leipzig in recent years, not just with those signings but also by loaning Fabio Carvalho to the Red Bull Arena in 2023, although he was recalled mid-season after struggling for game-time.

We mightn’t have won the race for Ouedraogo’s signature this time, but recent history suggests that the Reds could embark down a familiar transfer path further down the line if their interest in the teenage midfielder is maintained.

READ MORE: A history of Liverpool players at the European Championship

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