According to Bild (h/t Sport Witness), the 22-year-old wants out this summer, and Reds manager Jurgen Klopp is reportedly “hot” on the Bosnia and Herzegovina international. Bild also said that Chelsea are interested in Kolasinac, who is viewed as one of the brightest prospects in the division.
An injury last term curtailed some of the left-back’s development, but as we can see here, he’s rediscovered some form in 2015-16:
While the youngster can make an impact in the final third, he’s a full-back who excels in the defensive side of the game.
Kolasinac is a focused footballer and someone who rarely lets his discipline drop. When it comes to tracking runners, stopping crosses and making tackles, he’s superb and the type of footballer who could relish the English game. He is also versatile, adept at filling in at centre-back and at the base of the midfield.
In many ways he’s the antithesis of the club’s current starting left-back, Alberto Moreno, who plays with a little too much freedom at times. The Spaniard is not a player who has convinced too many either, including sports writer Sam May:
It will be great to see Brad Smith involved tomorrow in place of Moreno. Much more solid at the back #LFC— Sam May (@Sam95May) March 16, 2016
If Klopp wants a full-back who is raiding forward into advanced areas on a regular basis, then Kolasinac is not the right man. But if the German wants a steadying influence to add some more structure to a back four that has been ropey at times this term, then he’d be an ideal capture.
Financially, it could be a coup too. As Sport Witness reported, Kolasinac is out of contract next summer, meaning Schalke could be tempted into a potential sale. After all, they’ve already lost Joel Matip on a free transfer to the Reds this season, and they’d be wary of a similar scenario emerging next January.
Despite links to defenders, one player who looks unlikely to be going anywhere any time soon is Liverpool's Mamadou Sakho, who was linked with a move away from the club in the summer, per Marc Williams of the Daily Star. Now, under Klopp, the Frenchman has revealed he feels much happier at Anfield.
“It's nice to be in the team. With the Liverpool coach [Jurgen Klopp] it is going differently for me," he told French radio station RMC (h/t PA Sport via Sky Sports). “The former coach made his choices. I accepted them. I was always myself and smiled in training. In football, a lot can happen off the field. The most important thing is to stay focused and serious.”
Legendary Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher is a big fan of the player and thinks his fine form may mean Klopp doesn’t have to spend big on a new centre-back:
Sakho immense, Lovren excellent, keep going like that & they may save Klopp a few bob in the summer.— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) March 17, 2016
One player who has been tipped to potentially leave Anfield is Christian Benteke. He’s been linked with a move to West Ham United, and the club’s co-chairman, David Sullivan, has confirmed their interest in the Belgium international, revealing a potential stumbling block too.
“He’s a player we admire but the problem is that he is on huge wages that no club can afford,” he said, per Andrew Dillon of the Sun. “What we don’t have is 20-25 goal a season striker [sic]. If we did we’d be even higher up the table.”
According to Dillon, the deal Benteke signed with the Reds in the summer sees him pick up £120,000 a week. As Bleacher Report’s Jack Lusby noted, there does seem to be some tension between the player and manager too:
Klopp screaming at Benteke from the touchline. Not happy with whatever he's trying to do up front, presumably.— Jack Lusby (@jacklusby_) March 20, 2016
The previous regime brought in both Sakho and Benteke, and while the former has been able to adapt to the style the new boss has implemented, the latter is noticeably struggling. Still, if Benteke really is picking a salary such as the one aforementioned, it leaves the Reds in a tricky position if they do want to offload him.