Liverpool Transfer News: Latest on Piotr Zielinski and Mario Gotze Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMay 31, 2016

EMPOLI, ITALY - MAY 01: Piotr Zielinski of Empoli FC looks on during the Serie A match between Empoli FC and Bologna FC at Stadio Carlo Castellani on May 1, 2016 in Empoli, Italy.  (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)
Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Liverpool’s reported pursuit of Polish midfielder Piotr Zielinski is said to be on the brink of collapse because of festering boardroom tensions between the Reds and the player’s parent club: Udinese.

Zielinski was on loan at Empoli last season and strongly linked with a move to Anfield. But according to Mondo Udinese (h/t Jonathan Green of the Daily Star) Jerome Sinclair’s move to Watford—who, like Udinese, are owned by the Pozzo family—has made for a strained relationship between the two parties.

“Sinclair is joining the Hornets at the start of July after his contract with Liverpool expires,” added Green. “However, the Reds are due compensation [for] Sinclair as he is under 24 and the amount is set to be decided by a tribunal after they failed to agree a fee with Watford.”

Liverpool's English striker Jerome Sinclair in action during the English FA Cup fourth round football match between Liverpool and West Ham United at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England, on January 30, 2016. / AFP / PAUL ELLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIA
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

It is also noted in the piece that Liverpool have been tracking the talented midfielder since January, with the Daily Mirror recently reporting they had agreed terms with him. Here is a look at why a lot of fans would be disappointed if the move was to fall through:

According to Nima Tavallaey of GianlucaDiMarzio.com (translated by David Amoyal), Napoli have also joined the race to land the 22-year-old after missing out on Ajax skipper Davy Klaassen. It means a deal that was once looking pretty straightforward for the Reds is now beginning to get more complicated.

Zielinski seems as though he’d be a savvy capture for manager Jurgen Klopp, too. Here is a look at the numbers behind what was an impressive 2015-16 for him, per WhoScored.com:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

GRAPHIC: Piotr Zielinski Read the full interview here: https://t.co/YkuhGnzMir https://t.co/0aS94pU8Ai

On loan at Empoli, he excelled. Deployed as an orthodox central-midfield man, Zielinski set the tempo for his team in the centre of the park. He has an impressive passing range, able to laser balls out to the flanks or split defenders with superb vision, but he is also a clever manipulator of the ball and adept at dancing away from markers.

The Reds are well stocked for options in this area of the pitch, but none possess quite the same qualities as Zielinski. Klopp will be hoping this one gets resurrected over the summer months.

Barcelona Linked with Mario Gotze

Germany's striker Mario Goetze warms up prior to the friendly football match between Germany and Slovakia in Augsburg, southern Germany, on May 29, 2016.  / AFP / CHRISTOF STACHE        (Photo credit should read CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

According to Mundo Deportivo (h/t Calciomercato.com) Barcelona are set to rival Liverpool for Bayern Munich midfielder Mario Gotze.

As noted in the piece, the Reds have been strongly linked with a move for the Germany international, with a possible reunion with former manager Klopp seemingly ideal for the 23-year-old after falling down the pecking order at the Allianz Arena. Barcelona could be a huge rival for his signature, though.

Football journalist Rafael Hernandez thinks Gotze could be a brilliant fit at the Camp Nou, although he is unsure about the chances of this one going ahead:

Rafael Hernández @RafaelH117

Don’t tell anyone, but I’d accept it with open arms. Still a brilliant and amazing talent, but not happening. https://t.co/9r8BqtbjcP

There’s no denying the ability is there for the Bayern man to become a big hit at Barcelona. Here are some of the standout moments from what has been a frustrating campaign for him:

While Gotze has recently suggested he wants to stay in Bavaria and work under incoming manager Carlo Ancelotti, per Bild (h/t Sport Witness), there’s an unshakeable sense he needs a fresh start at this point in his career. A move to either Liverpool or Barcelona would offer him that.

The Spanish champions may be a more alluring proposition of the two, but Gotze could quickly find himself in a similar position to the one he’s in at Bayern should he move to the Camp Nou, with so many outstanding attacking players in the setup.

Should he move on in the window, being a key man on Merseyside could be a huge draw after so long as a peripheral figure.


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