Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will reportedly reinforce his midfield further this summer by targeting AS Roma's Leandro Paredes. The Anfield gaffer has already added Marko Grujic and is apparently keen for Empoli loanee Paredes to eventually join him.
Italian source TuttoMercatoWeb (h/t talkSPORT) reported the Merseyside club are expected to spend big this summer, with Paredes high on their list of potential recruits.
But Klopp's plan is going to be tough to realise given Roma's alleged intention for the 21-year-old, as talkSPORT revealed: "Roma are expected to blood the Argentinean into the first-team next year, but Liverpool are determined to snap him up."
Liverpool's midfield needs an overhaul. Things have gone stale while the likes of Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Lucas Leiva and Joe Allen have been vying for playing time.
Emre Can's improvement during his second season at Anfield is a welcome sight, but Klopp will know more inspiration is needed in the middle. Perhaps a prospect as highly touted as Paredes can help provide some.
A combative player, Paredes has shown an aptitude for the defensive aspects of his position. Statistics from WhoScored.com help prove the point:
|Leandro Paredes Defensive Statistics Per Game|
Miserly instincts aside, there's also a touch of flair and technical quality to his game. With the right coaching, Paredes could develop into the kind of deep-lying playmaker Klopp often employed during his days with Borussia Dortmund, where Nuri Sahin and Ilkay Gundogan both performed that role.
John Barnes Believes There's Still a Chance to Sign Alex Teixeira
Former player John Barnes doesn't think his old club should or will abandon hopes of signing Shakhtar Donetsk attacker Alex Teixeira this month.
Writing for Titanbet (h/t Jonathan Green of the Daily Star), Barnes predicted the Reds will enter into late talks for the prolific Brazilian, despite balking at the player's inflated fee: "I would be wary of matching Shakhtar Donetsk’s massive valuation of him, but I can see late negotiations between the clubs happening."
Donetsk chief executive Sergei Palkin told Ukrainian TV his club wants €70 million, Teixeira's release-clause fee, according to James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo. That's a price that would make most clubs pause, despite the player's obvious suitability for Klopp's squad.
Teixeira is the ideal fluid forward for the type of rotating front line the German strategist loves. He has the pace, perceptive movement and quality in front of goal to revitalise a dire attack, one summed up by this damning stat from Squawka:
If there is a player who justifies Klopp smashing Liverpool's transfer record, Teixeira is it.
The Reds will likely have to wait until at least the summer to significantly improve their talent the way Klopp needs to in order to move the club forward. But both Paredes and Teixeira are the type of exciting and technically accomplished players a new-look Liverpool will need.