Manuel Akanji (CB) Basel

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Nikola

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#1
The Independent, Blick and Bild have all written of Liverpool's interest in this lad - general consensus is that Liverpool are looking to sign him now with a view to him joining in the summer, which suits Basel, while Dortmund are looking for him to join them in January. Transfer fees of 20 and 30 million euros have been touted in the press. I know nothing of the lad (I did watch the N. Ireland - Switzerland game but I failed to notice him, which is probably good for a defender in a high pressure game!) but reports I read of him are promising.

What stands out for me is that he is described as athletic centre back, tall, strong and reasonably quick for that role - in line with Van Dijk's and Gomez's attributes. Also, he's a childhood Man United fan who eerily looks like Wes Brown. If he joins Liverpool, I can only wish him to win everything with them that Brown won with Man United.
 

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#2
Nik, you got us VVD so all my blessings for this one. The corner well and truly turned apparently. ;-)

About the player though. Completely unknown from my side. Like you, I watched games that he's been in (Basel CL) and cannot remember him at all. From the read up on the main site and comments here though, he looks a real prospect and at a great age to be taking a step up. This might very well be too big a step up initially though and if he comes he will get slaughtered by our fan base if he doesn't hit the ground running, I feel. He might be better of at Southampton or the like where he can grow out the spotlight for us to buy him at 25 for gazillions (yes, I am shamelessly plagiarising @Kopstar , I think it was, who said that somewhere).

Also, what do we do with Gomez as our big prospect? :think: Weirdly, I can envision someone like Giminez coming in to have CB options of VVD, Matip, Giminez and Gomez as a lineup with the theory of three quality and a massive prospect, but two quality and two still relatively untried? I honestly doubt it.

Whatever happens though, Lovren and Klavan look increasingly likely to be looking for new clubs come summertime.

*edit* indeed @ubermick it was. My bad.
 

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Kopstar

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#3
Nik, you got us VVD so all my blessings for this one. The corner well and truly turned apparently. ;-)

About the player though. Completely unknown from my side. Like you, I watched games that he's been in (Basel CL) and cannot remember him at all. From the read up on the main site and comments here though, he looks a real prospect and at a great age to be taking a step up. This might very well be too big a step up initially though and if he comes he will get slaughtered by our fan base if he doesn't hit the ground running, I feel. He might be better of at Southampton or the like where he can grow out the spotlight for us to buy him at 25 for gazillions (yes, I am shamelessly plagiarising @Kopstar , I think it was, who said that somewhere).

Also, what do we do with Gomez as our big prospect? :think: Weirdly, I can envision someone like Giminez coming in to have CB options of VVD, Matip, Giminez and Gomez as a lineup with the theory of three quality and a massive prospect, but two quality and two still relatively untried? I honestly doubt it.

Whatever happens though, Lovren and Klavan look increasingly likely to be looking for new clubs come summertime.
It was Mick but he's very wise so can understand the confusion ;-)

Also, Nik's got a great track record with new transfer target threads so all good with me that he's opened the two today!
 

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#5
The Independent, Blick and Bild have all written of Liverpool's interest in this lad - general consensus is that Liverpool are looking to sign him now with a view to him joining in the summer, which suits Basel, while Dortmund are looking for him to join them in January. Transfer fees of 20 and 30 million euros have been touted in the press. I know nothing of the lad (I did watch the N. Ireland - Switzerland game but I failed to notice him, which is probably good for a defender in a high pressure game!) but reports I read of him are promising.

What stands out for me is that he is described as athletic centre back, tall, strong and reasonably quick for that role - in line with Van Dijk's and Gomez's attributes. Also, he's a childhood Man United fan who eerily looks like Wes Brown. If he joins Liverpool, I can only wish him to win everything with them that Brown won with Man United.
I don't believe one moment that he'll move to Liverpool, now that we have secured VVD. Not because we aren't interested in him, but because his playing time would be too limited as it stands. It would be stupid from him to even consider LFC at this point of his career, as it would stifle his development. Playing also-rans behind VVD, Matip and possibly Lovren would be the end for him. He needs nothing else than playing time in order to fulfil his potential.

Btw, Blick says that we are just one club among others which are interested. Dortmund and RB Leipzig in Germany, Tottenham in England are also after him. And if he has any sense, he'll chose one of these clubs. According to Blick, he'll cost roughly £15 millions if he's to move in January, and a bit cheaper if he goes in Summer.

I think we are done with this one, or rather, he's done with us.
 

Zinedine Biscan

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#6
I don't believe one moment that he'll move to Liverpool, now that we have secured VVD. Not because we aren't interested in him, but because his playing time would be too limited as it stands. It would be stupid from him to even consider LFC at this point of his career, as it would stifle his development. Playing also-rans behind VVD, Matip and possibly Lovren would be the end for him. He needs nothing else than playing time in order to fulfil his potential.

Btw, Blick says that we are just one club among others which are interested. Dortmund and RB Leipzig in Germany, Tottenham in England are also after him. And if he has any sense, he'll chose one of these clubs. According to Blick, he'll cost roughly £15 millions if he's to move in January, and a bit cheaper if he goes in Summer.

I think we are done with this one, or rather, he's done with us.
Eh... I think Klopp has reached the end of the road (and his patience) with Lovren, hence moving mountains to bring in VVD mid-season. And Matip has hardly been in the kind of form that would make him an automatic first-choice. Personally think that second CB spot next to VVD is up for grabs and I wouldn't rule out bringing in someone to sit above our current candidates.
 

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#7
Eh... I think Klopp has reached the end of the road (and his patience) with Lovren, hence moving mountains to bring in VVD mid-season. And Matip has hardly been in the kind of form that would make him an automatic first-choice. Personally think that second CB spot next to VVD is up for grabs and I wouldn't rule out bringing in someone to sit above our current candidates.
I don't think that in terms of quality and experience, Akanji is above Matip currently. In terms of potential, maybe just, but even that isn't a given. Coming into the club, he'd clearly have to bide his time on the bench before getting an opening if he's lucky. As said, I don't think that it would be a good move for him at this point of his career, and that will probably be the decider.
 

Zinedine Biscan

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#8
I don't think that in terms of quality and experience, Akanji is above Matip currently. In terms of potential, maybe just, but even that isn't a given. Coming into the club, he'd clearly have to bide his time on the bench before getting an opening if he's lucky. As said, I don't think that it would be a good move for him at this point of his career, and that will probably be the decider.
Even if Matip is notionally above him in the pecking order, his fitness track record is patchy enough that any third-choice CB would know they'll get plenty of playing opportunities.

All I'm saying is that I don't think the current state of our defence should give any decent CB many concerns about finding first-team opportunities limited. It's not like this guy is a kid, he'll be 23 by the start of next season with a good amount of first-team experience under his belt... he's not a rookie and a good age to start pushing for a starting spot. Lovren and probably Klavan (if we got this guy) would be gone, Matip is in and out a bit and hardly pulling up trees in any case and Gomez is more of a longer-term project.

VVD, Matip, Akanji, Gomez... that looks like a set of pretty tasy CB options to me.
 

Nikola

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#9
I don't believe one moment that he'll move to Liverpool, now that we have secured VVD. Not because we aren't interested in him, but because his playing time would be too limited as it stands. It would be stupid from him to even consider LFC at this point of his career, as it would stifle his development. Playing also-rans behind VVD, Matip and possibly Lovren would be the end for him. He needs nothing else than playing time in order to fulfil his potential.

Btw, Blick says that we are just one club among others which are interested. Dortmund and RB Leipzig in Germany, Tottenham in England are also after him. And if he has any sense, he'll chose one of these clubs. According to Blick, he'll cost roughly £15 millions if he's to move in January, and a bit cheaper if he goes in Summer.

I think we are done with this one, or rather, he's done with us.
I wish to believe that penny has dropped with Klopp when it comes to his selection of centre backs. I still can't believe how this team made it to December 29th with Gomez covering for Clyne and three substandard/off-form/injury prone centre backs rotating in two roles. I wanted - but I didn't expect - him to buy two centre backs anyway, maybe this is what he will do now in order to stand a chance of catching up with Manchester clubs, more than anyone else. Gimenez was my preference but if Akanji is as good as they are saying, I have no qualms. I think that Lovren's or even Matip's spot in the side is more jeopardised than Klavan's, simply because I think Klavan wouldn't have problems with playing as fifth centre back in this team.

On a side note, I do fear that such a transfer might suggest that Clyne's injury is a debilitating one, meaning that Gomez is penciled in to play as right back, but surely he'd buy a natural right back and move Gomez back to his natural role?...
 

jgw_geneseo

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#11
If we're truly after Akanji, I could see us giving 3 at the back a try next year. Not for all the games, and maybe not even as the first choice formation. Klopp is slowly going away from the 4-3-3, and I'm not sure if that's because we need Lallana to really make that click, or if he sees different formations as necessary to cope with pace/frequency of games. I said it somewhere else but now that the thread is open I may as well say it here. VVD sitting between Gomez and Akanji looks very good to me on paper. Three very athletic, quick, ball playing center halves that will nullify the need for a 'DM' in the team makes sense. Hope has said in the unreliable that Akanji is currently part of a back 3 for Basel. Then you get Moreno doing what Moreno is comfortable doing, TAA is really showing signs of being a great attacking fullback on the other side, and you can pair Kieta with Goretzka (I'll just assume this is happening till I'm definitively told otherwise) for a much more dynamic midfield than we can field this year.

Gomez VVD Akanji
TAA Kieta Goretzka Moreno
Salah Firmino Mane
Just saying, that looks pretty good. And if Barca get a transfer ban (C'mon Atletico, let's get that ball rolling!), could look even better. Matip (when fit!) might be first choice over Gomez or Akanji, and Lovren could fill in for any of the 3. Not bad depth for a position we've had to go 4 deep with the past few seasons. I could absolutely be added 2+2 and getting 7, but you never know. Like I've said, with VvD in the fold, and Kieta coming, I'm very excited about what next season could be.
 

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#12
I wish to believe that penny has dropped with Klopp when it comes to his selection of centre backs. I still can't believe how this team made it to December 29th with Gomez covering for Clyne and three substandard/off-form/injury prone centre backs rotating in two roles. I wanted - but I didn't expect - him to buy two centre backs anyway, maybe this is what he will do now in order to stand a chance of catching up with Manchester clubs, more than anyone else. Gimenez was my preference but if Akanji is as good as they are saying, I have no qualms. I think that Lovren's or even Matip's spot in the side is more jeopardised than Klavan's, simply because I think Klavan wouldn't have problems with playing as fifth centre back in this team.

On a side note, I do fear that such a transfer might suggest that Clyne's injury is a debilitating one, meaning that Gomez is penciled in to play as right back, but surely he'd buy a natural right back and move Gomez back to his natural role?...
Good defensive coaching? *whisper it quietly*
 

Brock34

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#13
I'm curious who has watched this guy apart from Hope? :-)
I watched them play United but didn’t really notice him.

The reasons I would be excited though would if the rumors of Leipzig and BVB both being interested are true. Basel, Leipzig, BVB all have a good eye for young talent.

And I definitely think we will sign another CB, a young one. Lovren sold. Klavan stays as the steady veteran. Matip could stay for depth and to allow the new guy and Gomez to settle at CB, but can’t be counted on.

This gives me confidence that Klopp knows the entire defense needs to be rebuil despite his public proclamations of support for our CBs and GKs.
 
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#14
Nik, you got us VVD so all my blessings for this one. The corner well and truly turned apparently. ;-)

About the player though. Completely unknown from my side. Like you, I watched games that he's been in (Basel CL) and cannot remember him at all. From the read up on the main site and comments here though, he looks a real prospect and at a great age to be taking a step up. This might very well be too big a step up initially though and if he comes he will get slaughtered by our fan base if he doesn't hit the ground running, I feel. He might be better of at Southampton or the like where he can grow out the spotlight for us to buy him at 25 for gazillions (yes, I am shamelessly plagiarising @Kopstar , I think it was, who said that somewhere).

Also, what do we do with Gomez as our big prospect? :think: Weirdly, I can envision someone like Giminez coming in to have CB options of VVD, Matip, Giminez and Gomez as a lineup with the theory of three quality and a massive prospect, but two quality and two still relatively untried? I honestly doubt it.

Whatever happens though, Lovren and Klavan look increasingly likely to be looking for new clubs come summertime.

*edit* indeed @ubermick it was. My bad.
He is slow as - BUT Klavan has rarely let us down - hes a good back up man for me - never looks flustered and a decent squad man
 
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#15
I don't think that in terms of quality and experience, Akanji is above Matip currently. In terms of potential, maybe just, but even that isn't a given. Coming into the club, he'd clearly have to bide his time on the bench before getting an opening if he's lucky. As said, I don't think that it would be a good move for him at this point of his career, and that will probably be the decider.
With all due respect WE are Liverpool in a World Widely watched, money spinning Premier League, NOT a tin pot Swiss league, light years behind in many ways. He needs to be swimming in a much bigger fish tank ! Be real - Spurs want him, so do Dortmund, and RBL so he is pretty much in our currently realistic feeding ground - I say bag him quick and add some quality youth to the mix
 

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#16
I read earlier Akanje was second choice in case VVD signed for city, it was only on Twitter so not very reliable, if true he's after him it proves Klopp has had enough of Lovren and co, please get in a replacement for Migs.
 

Irishanfield

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#17
If we're truly after Akanji, I could see us giving 3 at the back a try next year. Not for all the games, and maybe not even as the first choice formation. Klopp is slowly going away from the 4-3-3, and I'm not sure if that's because we need Lallana to really make that click, or if he sees different formations as necessary to cope with pace/frequency of games. I said it somewhere else but now that the thread is open I may as well say it here. VVD sitting between Gomez and Akanji looks very good to me on paper. Three very athletic, quick, ball playing center halves that will nullify the need for a 'DM' in the team makes sense. Hope has said in the unreliable that Akanji is currently part of a back 3 for Basel. Then you get Moreno doing what Moreno is comfortable doing, TAA is really showing signs of being a great attacking fullback on the other side, and you can pair Kieta with Goretzka (I'll just assume this is happening till I'm definitively told otherwise) for a much more dynamic midfield than we can field this year.

Gomez VVD Akanji
TAA Kieta Goretzka Moreno
Salah Firmino Mane
Just saying, that looks pretty good. And if Barca get a transfer ban (C'mon Atletico, let's get that ball rolling!), could look even better. Matip (when fit!) might be first choice over Gomez or Akanji, and Lovren could fill in for any of the 3. Not bad depth for a position we've had to go 4 deep with the past few seasons. I could absolutely be added 2+2 and getting 7, but you never know. Like I've said, with VvD in the fold, and Kieta coming, I'm very excited about what next season could be.
If barca get a transfer ban they will appeal it which means it'll be deferred by at least one transfer window so they'll have plenty of time to get players in before the ban would start. This is what they did the last time they got done
 

Semmy

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#18
With all due respect WE are Liverpool in a World Widely watched, money spinning Premier League, NOT a tin pot Swiss league, light years behind in many ways. He needs to be swimming in a much bigger fish tank ! Be real - Spurs want him, so do Dortmund, and RBL so he is pretty much in our currently realistic feeding ground - I say bag him quick and add some quality youth to the mix
There's no place for that kind of arrogance. Maybe you have forgotten who knocked us out of CL in 14/15. I haven't.
 

YeGra

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#19
I think the aim is to replace Lovren and Klavan in the side full stop. I don't mind Klavan in some respects but he's getting on now.

Lovren is just too error prone and is also annoyingly hot-headed. Sevilla, Everton and Tottenham twice (so four times) were painfully glaring mistakes. To do at least four of those in half a season, especially in his 5th season with us is not good enough.

If we get Akanji, that's him, VvD, Gomez and Matip as our CBs options. We're sorted for that position for a while then.
 

Kopstar

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#20
There's no place for that kind of arrogance. Maybe you have forgotten who knocked us out of CL in 14/15. I haven't.
It also massively misses the point - it's because we're better stocked at CB (now) than others that it might not be the best move for Akanji at this stage in his career. He needs first team games to aid his development which he won't get here unless he's already good enough to be first choice in a much tougher league.

If we could buy him and loan him to someone like Dortmund or even back to Basel so he can continue his development to ensure he's ready for us then that could be a way to go.
 

Semmy

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#21
It also massively misses the point - it's because we're better stocked at CB (now) than others that it might not be the best move for Akanji at this stage in his career. He needs first team games to aid his development which he won't get here unless he's already good enough to be first choice in a much tougher league.

If we could buy him and loan him to someone like Dortmund or even back to Basel so he can continue his development to ensure he's ready for us then that could be a way to go.
Especially considering the path Grujic has taken since signing... Yes.
 

Anfield rd Dreamer

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#22
It also massively misses the point - it's because we're better stocked at CB (now) than others that it might not be the best move for Akanji at this stage in his career. He needs first team games to aid his development which he won't get here unless he's already good enough to be first choice in a much tougher league.

If we could buy him and loan him to someone like Dortmund or even back to Basel so he can continue his development to ensure he's ready for us then that could be a way to go.
Not sure I agree with this. If our first choice is going to be VvD and Matip with this kid as third choice then he'll play loads. Look how much Klavan plays now because of Matip and his injury issues. It's not like VvD will play every single game either. I don't know many better coaches on the planet to develop a young talent under. That's under the assumption that, due to him being young, he's being targeted as 3rd choice. That may be a mistake. Look what Klopp did with Subetic and Hummels at Dortmund. Both real young, promising but under the radar players Klopp saw matched what he needed in CBs and brought in as first choice. Although not guaranteed it's a possibility he might be planning the same here. Matip would then be a huge boon as an experienced, reliable 3rd choice to bring in if this kid needs to be taken out for a game here or there due to a patch or two of shakiness during his development. With Gomez or Klavan around as 4th option (depending on what happens with Clyne and the RB position) we could be extremely well set up in CB for years to come.
 

Semmy

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#23
Vvd on the left. Lovren on the right.

Matip and Klavan as 2nd pair.

Akanji is odd man out, don't see Lovren getting dropped anytime soon even with reinforcements. It's not Klopp's style.

He'll bench a player whose has checked out or isn't playing well (Mane' anyone? Sakho * injured again)

I have definitely been wrong before...
 

ILLOK

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#24
Matip has been just as shite as anyone this season. Don't quite understand the reluctance here for us to bring in another centre back.

Frankly I couldn't care less which one of our current bunch it meant forcing out the door, I'd just like to see another new face in there.
 
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#25
Matip has been just as shite as anyone this season. Don't quite understand the reluctance here for us to bring in another centre back.

Frankly I couldn't care less which one of our current bunch it meant forcing out the door, I'd just like to see another new face in there.
The future is VVD & Gomez as our central pairing ...Joe just needs to be used as a RB for now until Clyne is back to compete with TAA.
 



Anfield rd Dreamer

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#26
Matip has been just as shite as anyone this season. Don't quite understand the reluctance here for us to bring in another centre back.

Frankly I couldn't care less which one of our current bunch it meant forcing out the door, I'd just like to see another new face in there.
There's a lot of talk on Twitter (from people who either get hints or are very good at guessing) that Klopp is bringing in a whole new spine for next season. New keeper, new CB to partner VvD (this guys name used a lot), Goretzka, Keita and possibly a third new CM (maybe a number 6 for Keita and Goretzka to play in front of). Think attack would only be touched in that scenario if Sturridge and/Or Coutinho leave and need replacing.
 

YeGra

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#27
I do think Matip deserves a chance to get his form back. He also needs that chance with the right personnel around him.

Lovren and Klavan just don't have the quality we need. I reckon Klopp seems to have tweaked things a little to resolve the defensive shortness after the Tottenham game. But the quality is still lacking in another CB, a keeper and a defensive midfielder. So Akanji ticks another box for me. I see another CB signing as essential at this point.
 

ILLOK

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#28
The future is VVD & Gomez as our central pairing ...Joe just needs to be used as a RB for now until Clyne is back to compete with TAA.
Gomez is only 20 and we need more than 2 centre backs.

Let's not be mistaken here, we are not stocked with good players in this position.

Klopp may also want to play with 3 at the back on occasion. Akanji sounds like he would have the athleticism required which Lovren, Matip and Klavan lack.
 

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#29
Even if Matip is notionally above him in the pecking order, his fitness track record is patchy enough that any third-choice CB would know they'll get plenty of playing opportunities.

All I'm saying is that I don't think the current state of our defence should give any decent CB many concerns about finding first-team opportunities limited. It's not like this guy is a kid, he'll be 23 by the start of next season with a good amount of first-team experience under his belt... he's not a rookie and a good age to start pushing for a starting spot. Lovren and probably Klavan (if we got this guy) would be gone, Matip is in and out a bit and hardly pulling up trees in any case and Gomez is more of a longer-term project.

VVD, Matip, Akanji, Gomez... that looks like a set of pretty tasy CB options to me.
I wish to believe that penny has dropped with Klopp when it comes to his selection of centre backs. I still can't believe how this team made it to December 29th with Gomez covering for Clyne and three substandard/off-form/injury prone centre backs rotating in two roles. I wanted - but I didn't expect - him to buy two centre backs anyway, maybe this is what he will do now in order to stand a chance of catching up with Manchester clubs, more than anyone else. Gimenez was my preference but if Akanji is as good as they are saying, I have no qualms. I think that Lovren's or even Matip's spot in the side is more jeopardised than Klavan's, simply because I think Klavan wouldn't have problems with playing as fifth centre back in this team.

On a side note, I do fear that such a transfer might suggest that Clyne's injury is a debilitating one, meaning that Gomez is penciled in to play as right back, but surely he'd buy a natural right back and move Gomez back to his natural role?...
Well, IF Lovren goes, then it's another matter of course. Then it could be an attractive prospect for the lad. Maybe that's also why Klopp wants him in next summer, and not right now. Let's see how it pans out, there aren't any news out there for the time being.
 

redfanman

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#30
Eh... I think Klopp has reached the end of the road (and his patience) with Lovren, hence moving mountains to bring in VVD mid-season. And Matip has hardly been in the kind of form that would make him an automatic first-choice. Personally think that second CB spot next to VVD is up for grabs and I wouldn't rule out bringing in someone to sit above our current candidates.
I'm not sure that is the likely narrative here. I dont think Klopp is any more troubled by Lovren than he was when the new contract was given. Klopp spends a lot of time training players, that he feels he cant simply get rid and replace willy nilly. We also had to deepen the squad, so the VVD incoming now isnt a change to this. He was the priority (only?) target in the summer and that didnt change once Southampton wouldnt sell. It just became a timing issue.

The fact he was now available meant we would try to sign him now probably regardless of the form of Lovren & Matip and if Mick's source was correct and a senior figure said something in front of journo's which led to the deal being nixxed in the summer, then its likely FSG wanted to make amends here.

I cant help also feel that this move being completed now is also a message that the club will try to do anything they can to sign the players they believe are the right ones - we've had plenty of opportunities and excuses to have walked away from this (behaviour and comments from selling club, price etc).

Also, i think this deal pretty much gets a monkey off the club's & FSG's back (providing we dont sell Coutinho this window) - a January signing and at huge cost.

I agree that the second spot is probably also available right now.
 
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