Liverpool Transfer News: Piotr Zielinski Targeted, Latest on Granit Xhaka Rumour

Christopher SimpsonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 28, 2016

EMPOLI, ITALY - JANUARY 23: Piotr Zielinski of Empoli FC celebrates after scoring a goal during the Serie A match between Empoli FC and AC Milan at Stadio Carlo Castellani on January 23, 2016 in Empoli, Italy.  (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)
Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Liverpool are reportedly targeting a summer move for Udinese midfielder Piotr Zielinski.

That's according to the Mirror's Matt Lewis, who notes Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp "is keen to wrap an £11 million move for the central midfielder and had been initially looking at securing his services this January."

However, with the youngster already on loan at Empoli and pursuing a place on Poland's squad for Euro 2016, the Reds will need to wait until the summer—something they're content to do, according to Lewis.

The 21-year-old is one of Serie A's rising stars and has two goals and five assists to his name in 19 league appearances so far this season.

Zielinski is comfortable on the ball and possesses great dribbling skills and the ability to create opportunities for his team-mates, with Squawka reporting the central midfielder has completed 44 take-ons from 63 attemptsan impressive 70 per cent success rateand created 41 chances.

Football commentator Adam Summerton has repeatedly been impressed with the youngster:

With the likes of James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Lucas Leiva, Emre Can and a resurgent Joe Allen among Klopp's central midfield options, central midfield isn't the most pressing area of the field Liverpool need to strengthen.

Nevertheless, Zielinski would make a strong recruit and if he should fulfil his potential at Anfield, he could go on to be a star for the Reds in the future.

Martin Meissner/Associated Press

Another alternative is Borussia Monchengladbach's Granit Xhaka. According to German outlet Sport Bild (h/t Rory Benson-Le of the Liverpool Echo), Klopp met with his agent in December and is hoping to recruit the Swiss star. However, as sports journalist Stefan Bienkowski notes, Gladbach are firm in their stance:

Indeed, per Bild (h/t Alex Richards of the Mirror), general manager Max Eberl said: "I would like to say clearly once again at this point: Granit Xhaka wants to stay in Monchengladbach and we do not want to sell him. He is a super player for us and will contest the second half of the season here."

The 23-year-old is Gladbach's key man in the middle thanks to his metronomic distribution, reminiscent of former Liverpool star Xabi Alonso. Indeed, the youngster was up there with Alonso in terms of passes completed in the Bundesliga last season, per

Bundesliga football expert Clark Whitney believes Xhaka would fit in well at Anfield:

It's clear the Reds will struggle to land him this winter, though, but expect them to pursue him in the summer.

In other news, according to Sky Sports (h/t Rhys Turrell of the Daily Star), Reims have made a loan offer for Liverpool stopper Adam Bogdan in a bid to bring him to France for the remainder of the season.

Matt Dunham/Associated Press

The Hungarian has failed to make an impact at Anfield since arriving for free in the summer, and an improvement in his playing situation looks unlikely with Simon Mignolet ahead of him. 

However, Turrell notes that Klopp is "not keen on the deal," which could indicate Bogdan will be the first-choice replacement for Mignolet should he be injured or suspended despite Danny Ward's return from Aberdeen.