Liverpool Transfer News: Latest Rumours, Elite Stars Linked to Jurgen Klopp

Stuart Newman@@StuNewmanSportFeatured ColumnistMarch 26, 2016

Jonas Hector of 1.FC Koln during the Bundesliga match between 1. FC Koln and FC Bayern Munich on March 19, 2016 at the RheinEnergieStadion in Koln, Germany.(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
VI-Images/Getty Images

FC Koln defender Jonas Hector has fuelled speculation linking him with a move to Anfield this summer by saying that if Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp came calling, he’d think about a transfer.

The 25-year-old has put together a string of impressive performances in the Bundesliga this term, and the Reds have seemingly identified him as the man to solidify their frail back line.

And although Liverpool would have a tough job on their hands luring Hector away from his native Germany, the player himself admitted to Eurosport that hearing from Klopp could be a game-changer—via Max Miller of Metro:

"You always have to consider whether you are ready to take the next step. But at the moment I am not thinking about it. I think what we have to do at FC Koln is enough. [If Klopp was to persuade me] I would start to think about it."

Cologne's defender Jonas Hector (L) vies Dortmund's defender Matthias Ginter during the German first division Bundesliga football match 1 FC Cologne vs Borussia Dortmund in Cologne, western Germany, on December 19, 2015. 


The left side of defence has caused Liverpool particular problems this season.

Although there’s no area of the back line to be optimistic about, Alberto Moreno’s, let’s say, adventurous positioning has seen the Reds caught cold on many occasions.

Plus, his clumsy nature in and around the box has once again put Liverpool on the back foot.

There’s no doubt that Moreno is a talented player, but he’s contributed to more problems for his own team than he’s caused for the opposition. And that’s where Hector steps in.

The German is equally skilled at getting forward as Moreno, yet he finds an excellent balance between attacking and protecting his own goal. Here’s a look at what the left-back can bring to the table:

Hector’s defensive brilliance has been recognised by the Germany national team as well, so much so that he’s likely to be one of the first names on the team sheet at UEFA Euro 2016.

The Koln star’s stock will only continue to rise after the European Championships in France, so if Klopp is serious about taking him to Anfield, he better pick up the phone sooner rather than later.

Elsewhere, under-performing striker Christian Benteke could be on his way out of Merseyside, as Spanish giants Atletico Madrid are reportedly looking to sign him—via Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror.

Atletico like to deploy a target man up front, and the Belgian certainly fits the bill. Chelsea’s Diego Costa is also on the club’s wish list.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - MARCH 20:  Christian Benteke of Liverpool reacts after missing a chance during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Liverpool on March 20, 2016 in Southampton, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Ge
Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Despite being seven points adrift of fourth place, Liverpool are still very much in the race for a UEFA Champions League spot, and a good end to the season could well see them back in Europe’s elite competition.

The Reds have a generous run of Premier League fixtures to close out their campaign, while the UEFA Europa League route to the Champions League starts with a tricky-looking clash with Borussia Dortmund on April 7.