Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has reportedly made contact with Granit Xhaka's agent as he looks to sign the Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder for next season.
According to German outlet Sport Bild (via Will Giles in Metro), the German manager "recently met with Andy Gros," Xhaka's representative, to discuss a potential move to Anfield for the 23-year-old, with Klopp reportedly attracted to his aggressive style.
The Swiss' value has been reported at around £37 million, and he has been consistently linked with Arsenal, but Monchengladbach director Max Eberl recently issued a hands-off warning, saying they would not be selling Xhaka in January, per Sport1.de (via the Evening Standard's James Benge).
However, the summer could be the opportune moment for the Reds to swoop, and it seems Klopp is laying the groundwork now.
Xhaka is a very talented midfielder, and he would fit perfectly into Klopp's squad, per Bundesliga expert Clark Whitney:
Clark Whitney @Mr_Bundesliga
SportBild: Liverpool have 1st meeting with Xhaka, who'd be a brilliant signing for any of EPL's top sides but esp good fit in Klopp's system2016-1-27 07:07:20
Liverpool undoubtedly have some very accomplished central midfielders on their books—Jordan Henderson, Emre Can—but Xhaka could add some necessary steel that currently seems lacking.
He is a strong leader, despite his youth, and he has been compared to a young Bastian Schweinsteiger, per FourFourTwo's Michael Yokhin.
Both his distribution and his defensive acumen are excellent, as can be seen below:
The only worry for Klopp is Xhaka's ill-discipline, he has already been sent off three times in the Bundesliga this season, per WhoScored.com.
But he is still only a young man and the former Borussia Dortmund boss undoubtedly believes he can iron out the petulant and irresponsible side of the Swiss international's game.
Along with Can and Henderson, Xhaka could make up an excellent central-midfield trio for Liverpool next season.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have reportedly made an offer to Schalke for Cameroonian centre-back Joel Matip.
According to Kaveh Solhekol of Germany's Sky Sports News, the defender is nearing the end of his contract and is looking to leave the Bundesliga club:
Kaveh Solhekol @SkyKaveh
Sky colleagues in Germany: Liverpool make offer for Schalke's Joel Matip. His contract runs out in the summer. He wants to leave. #LFC2016-1-27 11:33:59
Despite signing Steven Caulker on loan recently, the Reds are still lacking quality cover in the centre of defence.
Matip, 24, could be a fine addition given his vast experience with Schalke over the last seven seasons—he has played 178 times in the Bundesliga, per WhoScored.