Liverpool’s move for a top midfielder will come as no surprise to many. The Reds have been after a ‘marquee midfielder’ for many years now, dating as far back as the days of Juan Mata wearing a Valencia shirt.
Nonetheless, the move for Red Bull Leipzig’s Naby Keita seems to be the most logical of all gone by in recent years. Liverpool have needed a capable, energetic, box-to-box midfielder since Gerrard’s legs went and they may have just found their man. Described as part-Iniesta, part-Kante by German football expert Archie Rhind-Tutt, there hardly seems a more appropriate man to slot in behind Liverpool’s more creative front line.
There’s no doubt Leipzig are prepared for his departure, with the signing of Konrad Laimer already confirmed. Despite this, sporting director Ralf Rangnick claims the club “will definitely not be letting any key players go”, so it’s either time for Liverpool to get set for a long pursuit or seek an alternative. Here’s who they could be looking at:
At the time of writing this article, Neves’ proposed move to Wolves for the mere sum of £16million is yet to go through, and is subsequently still open to hijacking. The man who became the youngest captain in Champions League history two years ago was linked with a move to Merseyside last year for a fee of more than double what has been mooted by Wolves, and has only continued to show the form that has him held in high regard as one of Europe’s top young midfielders. He’s got Champions League experience, Portugal caps, and nine goals from 67 appearances from midfield. At 20-years-old, he’s a steal.
Although his career has been somewhat stunted by injuries and even slightly overshadowed by his brother Thiago’s success since his departure, Rafinha has become a very capable member of the squad in Barcelona and rumours suggest Liverpool have monitored the progress of the Brazilian international amidst interest from Roma. He bagged six goals in 18 appearances last year, and is available for a fee of around £25million. Though he’s in a very different mould to Keita, Rafinha is highly rated by Barca and there’s no doubting the quality he would add to Liverpool’s midfield.
A man who’s no stranger to a transfer story, Adrian Raboit has held Paris Saint Germain over a barrel for a number of years now thanks to the talent he possesses. He’s thought of as one of the top midfield talents in world football in the French capital, and his performances last year did little to dent those claims. He can dictate play from deep and has already made over 100 appearances for PSG, winning 13 major honours with the club since his debut five years ago. Champions League experience, a winners mentality, represented France at every level. He’s a top prospect, but even with the promise of first team football every week, he’d only come at a huge price.
Featured image credit: Sky Sports