Simon Jones of the Daily Mail spoke exclusively to us about Liverpool’s transfer activity this summer, incomings, outgoings and potential deals for Piotr Zieliński and Sadio Mané in our latest interview.
I think the best place to start is obviously with Mario Götze, who has been a number one priority for Jurgen Klopp so far this summer….he’s recently changed representatives and has come out and stated he wishes to fight for his future under Ancelotti next season, but it still seems like Bayern are trying to move him on….what’s the latest on his future and do you feel a deal for Götze at Anfield might not be dead yet?
As it stands he’s staying at Bayern but he knows the amount of game time will continue to be limited. You can imagine Götze changing his mind once he remains on the bench under Carlo Ancelotti but Jurgen Klopp can only wait so long.
Liverpool have obviously brought in Loris Karius, the goalkeeper from Mainz for £4.7m…it means Klopp has now signed Marko Grujic, Joel Matip and now Karius….a smart bit of business from Liverpool do you feel? Can you see Karius being the number one next season ahead of Simon Mignolet?
They’ve needed someone to really challenge Mignolet, to threaten his place and test his mental resolve and Karius certainly looks capable. Liverpool have got him for a very good price but he’ll still need time to adjust. Danny Ward will be a good goalkeeper but needs to play more regularly as he did at Aberdeen. It’s pretty likely he’ll go out on loan but he’ll be one who can threaten Mignolet too.
Another link which has emerged in the past 7 days or so is Sadio Mané at Southampton, Liverpool inevitably linked to another player from the Saints….it’s been reported Mané is being looked at as an alternative to Götze…is that a player you could see there being concrete interest in or do you feel it may just be a smokescreen of sorts?
There’s a definite interest. He’s a player who fits into the model of what Klopp wants to do and brings a goal threat plus Premier League experience. Liverpool may offer players in return. Jordon Ibe has been mentioned but there are mixed messages over whether he is definitely for sale. Liverpool say no but agents have been pushing his name to the likes of Watford, Southampton and Bournemouth. Liverpool should get Piotr Zielinski done ahead of Napoli for around £10m and then it’s a case of kicking on with Mané . Klopp likes to keep a safe distance on negotiations. He leaves Ian Ayre and others to discuss deals with agents and so maintains a relationship with the players that doesn’t get coloured by money.
Borussia Monchengladbach’s Mahmoud Dahoud is another player reported to have been looked at, with some outlets stating Klopp will go all out to sign the midfielder….with the German club having already lost key midfielders this summer…is this one you could see having legs?
It’s got legs as most German clubs will look at the profit margins offered by English clubs but Monchengladbach have been advising him to stay for at least another season. They are in the Champions League qualifiers and have just signed Christoph Kramer to bolster the midfield after the departures of Granit Xhaka and Havard Nordtveit so it may prove tempting to stay in the Bundesliga for at least another season and hope Liverpool remain interested.
Finally on the transfer front, it’s been well documented Liverpool are in the market for another left-back, with Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell the top target this summer….negotiations were set to advance this week, is that one you could see being done swiftly?
Not necessarily. Liverpool are doing the main pushing but Leicester are saying he is not for sale. They are working hard at keeping their squad intact and want to line up replacements before they let ones go. Chilwell is a good young player but on £800 a week and they recognise they should have tried harder to tie him up on a better contract before now. He’s been offered a new deal but is unlikely to sign. Arsenal offered £4million for him which was rejected but he has less time on his contract now. Chelsea may also revive interest once Leicester say he is for sale but it’s common knowledge Liverpool would be a favoured destination once they agree a fee.
Onto outgoing players now..the revolving door at Anfield is already in motion with Jordan Rossiter, Jerome Sinclair and Jose Enrique all moving on to pastures now..the likes of Martin Skrtel, Kolo Toure are also set to leave Anfield….two names which a lot of Liverpool fans will be keeping an eye on is Christian Benteke and Joe Allen…do you feel both players will have left Liverpool come August?
It’s highly likely. Both have a role to play and Benteke still gets his share of goals despite his limited playing time but it’s no good at this stage of his career to be a bit-part player. He’ll make his decision after the Euros but Liverpool don’t want to take a hit on the fee they spent so he may have to wait until closer to the end of the window before he gets any move. West Ham may come back into it but he’s on secondary lists at the likes of Juventus too. Allen knows he can be a starter elsewhere, particularly at Swansea, so he will take stock too. A good Euros could open other doors.
Just finally….where else do you feel Liverpool may strengthen this summer…a striker has been muted especially if Benteke leaves….could be on the radar as reported over the weekend?
The message on Higuain so far is he’s not destined for Liverpool. Left-back, central midfield, a strong wide player and a striker who fits into Klopp’s model and work ethic. The disconcerting blot on the landscape is Paris St Germain’s interest in Philippe Coutinho. It’s a fluctuating one and as much as Liverpool won’t countenance selling, PSG’s wealth means you can never rule out an offer that makes heads turn. That would force a re-think in plans.