Liverpool are reportedly eyeing a double raid on Bundesliga side Koln, with goalkeeper Timo Horn and defender Jonas Hector said to be on their radar.
The links were made in the German publication Bild (h/t Philip Costa of ESPN FC) suggesting the Reds will also face competition from rivals Manchester United and Arsenal for the players. Koln are currently languishing down in 12th place in the top flight, just six points clear of the relegation zone.
Despite this lowly position, they are in possession of some excellent players, including Horn. Here is a look at why the Koln stopper is rated as one of the top young goalkeepers on the continent:
Liverpool’s goalkeeping situation is one that has a lot of supporters concerned, with significant doubts over whether or not Simon Mignolet is the right man to play between the sticks, regardless of the five-year contract he recently penned.
Horn definitely has quality and at just 22 years old is still in the nascent stages of his career as a goalkeeper. The German is very much a modern No. 1 too, not only handy when it comes to shot-stopping but a dynamic presence at the base of the team, always looking to command his area and sweep up danger.
Keith Costigan of Fox Sports feels that while Horn is an undoubted talent, there may be better options for the Reds in German football’s top flight at the moment:
On LFC interest in Timo Horn. Good young GK but there are better ones in @Bundesliga_EN— keith costigan (@KeithCostigan) March 10, 2016
Hector is a versatile footballer who has regularly been a part of Joachim Low’s Germany squad. He’s typically deployed as a left-back but has been used as a central midfielder in the Bundesliga at times this season by manager Peter Stoger; that adaptability is something the Reds could definitely use.
Bleacher Report’s Jack Lusby feels that the defender would be a savvy capture for the Reds overall:
No real downside to #LFC signing Jonas Hector. Six foot, strong, defensively sound, good in possession, a threat going forward - and CHEAP.— Jack Lusby (@jacklusby_) March 10, 2016
These players would both be well aware of Jurgen Klopp and would be enticed by the prospect of working with him. Additionally, they’d add depth to critical areas of the squad, with the Reds short of competition in goal and cover at left-back.
They fit the blueprint Klopp has typically adhered to throughout his career as well, as both Horn and Hector are hungry, talented footballers who, with the right guidance, could become very fine players indeed.
West Ham United Eyeing Christian Benteke
Liverpool striker Christian Benteke is reportedly a £20 million summer target for West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic, who seeks to add to his options at the point of the attack.
According to Adrian Kajumba of the Daily Mirror, Benteke and Manchester City man Wilfried Bony are on a list of targets for the club this summer. The Belgian, who signed for the Reds in a £32.5 million deal before this, has been in poor form since rocking up at Anfield, with doubts over whether or not he can fit into Klopp’s way of playing.
As we can see here courtesy of HLN’s Kristof Terreur, Benteke has insisted recently that he is keen to continue fighting for his place at Anfield:
Will Benteke be a Liverpool player next season?
However, it’s tough to see a scenario where the Belgian suddenly sparks into life at Anfield. The Liverpool manager has always looked to have a mobile presence at the point of the attack, whether that be Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi or Roberto Firmino; Benteke has many attributes, but triggering a high press with tireless work rate is not in his makeup.
The aforementioned figure would represent a significant loss for the Reds, but a player who has proved he can score goals in the right setup could potentially be a coup for the Hammers. Under Bilic, whose side has shown it can be both delicate and direct in attack, Benteke would surely find goals much easier to come by.