With Liverpool securing back-to-back top four finishes in the Premier League, we look at what Jurgen Klopp may do in order to catch Manchester City next season.
There are several questions that Klopp will seek to address once the dust has settled on this weekend’s Champions League final.
These include: Should Loris Karius remain as No 1? Are more defensive reinforcements needed? And do the front three need better cover?
Karius’ improvement means he could yet be the club’s long-term goalkeeping solution, but Liverpool have been strongly linked with Stoke’s Jack Butland and Roma keeper Alisson. The Brazil No 1 was Serie A’s top-performing goalkeeper last season.
Danny Mills tells Premier League Daily that Liverpool's defenders should have a 'serious look at themselves' despite helping the Reds reach the Champions League Final.
According to Opta’s Expected Goals on Target model (xGoT), which shows how many goals a team should have conceded compared to their actual total, Alisson prevented 8.31 goals – more than any other keeper in the Italian top flight.
The club have already confirmed the signing of Naby Keita from RB Leipzig with the transfer fee reduced to £52.75m from £59m after Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side failed to secure Champions League qualification.
Making the headlines…
The Daily Star report that Jamaal Lascelles and James Tarkowski have also been targeted, but neither will be available for less than £25m.
Liverpool began last season without the technical qualities of Adam Lallana, and they will have to cater for the absence of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for the opening weeks of the new campaign after he suffered a serious knee injury.
The Sun say Lyon playmaker Nabil Fekir will cost £60m but the French club’s president Jean-Michel Aulas has warned they will “need to be very rich” to prise him away.
Tuttosport claim Emre Can will have his Juventus medical next week after the Champions League final, making space for Keita’s arrival, but replacing Philippe Coutinho’s flair will also be addressed.
Guillem Balague believes Barcelona are willing to allow Liverpool target Ousmane Dembele to go out on loan next term, while Portuguese outlet O Jogo report that the club are interested in Benfica midfielder Anderson Talisca.
Pundit’s view: Maguire to top transfer list?
Phil Thompson: “For me I would put my money down for Harry Maguire and make him top of my list. He ticks a lot of boxes in terms of how we play and he’s big and strong so would give us another commanding figure.
“I would also look for another centre-forward like Edin Dzeko, if he was keen to come to the Premier League.
“Perhaps like Fernando Llorente at Tottenham, a striker who is at the stage of his career where he doesn’t mind being rotated but offers us something different off the bench.
“Another midfielder will probably be needed as well. I’m excited for Naby Keita’s arrival but Emre Can’s inevitable departure means somebody else will be required.”
Clues from the manager?
Klopp has revealed his intention to strengthen his squad irrespective of the outcome of their Champions League final against Real Madrid this weekend.
He told the Daily Mirror: “‘You need additions because in the squad, actually, we need more quality. That is not to get rid of players but you have to mix it up a little bit.
“What do we do? We brought in Naby Keita already, an outstanding player. We will bring in a couple more players and that will happen.
“But we had the quality of players already to finish the season higher. Think about the season we played without Lallana, and half a season without Coutinho. Two of the best players in the whole Premier League. They didn’t play on the pitch for us.
“Can you imagine Phil Coutinho still in the team? And we play with the three up front and Phil at eight – that would have been nice!”
What are the odds?
According to Sky Bet, Jack Butland’s move to Liverpool would appear virtually a done deal given his odds have tumbled to just 1/6.
Should Klopp seek another centre-half, the Reds are the 3/1 favourites to sign Jamaal Lascelles with fellow centre-back Alfie Mawson further back at 12/1.
In the midfield department, Thomas Lemar is evens while Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic is 3/1 to take the same road as Klopp to Anfield.
Shay Given has told Premier League Daily he believes Mo Salah will remain at Liverpool next season.
Nabil Fekir looks nailed on (1/6), while Mohamed Salah is 7/1 to leave Anfield this summer. Ousmane Dembele (9/4), Manuel Lanzini (5/2) and Jorginho (14/1) are among the other attacking options being linked with the club.
Meanwhile, Robert Lewandowski (33/1) and Antoine Griezmann (25/1) are outside bets that could be shortened if Liverpool lift their sixth European Cup.
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