Liverpool Transfer News: Latest on Moussa Marega and Maxime Lopez Rumours

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistNovember 4, 2016

Porto's Malian forward Moussa Marega controls the ball during the Portuguese league football match FC Porto vs Uniao da Madeira at the Dragao stadium in Porto on March 12, 2016. / AFP / MIGUEL RIOPA        (Photo credit should read MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP/Getty Images)
MIGUEL RIOPA/Getty Images

Liverpool reportedly face competition from Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal for two prime transfer targets. The north London duo are said to be battling the Reds for Porto striker Moussa Marega as well as Marseille playmaker Maxime Lopez.

Liverpool, Spurs and a quartet of other clubs from England's top flight have been running the rule over 25-year-old Marega, according to Sam Street of the Sun (h/t Alex Wood of the Daily Star).

The reports also named Watford, Crystal Palace, Stoke City and Sunderland as interested parties. Malian attacker Marega is in prolific form while on loan at Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes, scoring 10 times in eight matches.

Marega is thriving while on loan.
Marega is thriving while on loan.Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

Street noted that Marega is rated at £6 million by his parent club. Meanwhile, Wood stated that Porto may be tempted to recall the powerhouse striker from loan in January, especially if he maintains his lethal form in front of goal.

A prolific and natural centre-forward is something Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has struggled to find since taking over at Anfield. The German has tried a host of players through the middle but has found most success playing Brazilian attacking midfielder Roberto Firmino as a false nine.

It's no surprise Klopp has ad-libbed at the position since his more traditional options are all blighted by question marks.

England international Daniel Sturridge is a quality finisher but struggles to stay fit. He's also a little too greedy in the final third for the inclusive game Klopp preaches.

Target man Divock Origi is a more natural fit as a burly striker who can dominate in the air, play with his back to goal and link well with others. Yet like Sturridge, the Belgian can't stay off the treatment table for long.

Klopp's squad is short of centre-forwards he can depend on.
Klopp's squad is short of centre-forwards he can depend on.Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Nor can the pacy and roving Danny Ings. The former Burnley man will miss the rest of the season as he needs knee surgery, per James Carroll of the club's official website.

Liverpool's attack is already one of the best in the Premier League, but a more obvious focal point may make the Reds unstoppable. Marega is the kind of under-the-radar buy Klopp needs to help the Anfield club stay competitive among the mega-rich clubs at the top.

          

Arsenal Rival Reds for Teenage Schemer

Liverpool have reportedly been keen on 18-year-old Lopez since he was 16, and they will continue to monitor the young Frenchman alongside Arsenal, according to French publication Le Parisien (h/t TalkSport).

The report detailed the extent of Arsenal's interest: "The 18-year-old has broken into the first team this season and the Gunners soon became interested after he was dubbed 'the new Samir Nasri' by the French media."

Lopez has been compared to ex-Arsenal schemer Nasri.
Lopez has been compared to ex-Arsenal schemer Nasri.Clive Mason/Getty Images

Scouts from Liverpool and Arsenal have already been at Marseille's matches to assess Lopez last month, per Spanish source BeSoccer (h/t the Daily Star's Alex Wood).

It's clear the Reds are serious about finding a new young and creative ace to add to their midfield ranks.

Lopez fits the bill as a precocious and versatile playmaker with the attributes to fit the style of play Klopp has brought to Liverpool—one based on fluid movement and quick and intelligent passing.

Those are already staples of Lopez's game, as Andrew Gibney noted for the Daily Mirror back in March 2014: "He is naturally right-footed, but likes to drift to the left, but at this age he is comfortable playing all along the midfield line. He makes intelligent runs off the ball, is eager to find space and get on the ball at every opportunity."

Liverpool have tracked Lopez for a while.
Liverpool have tracked Lopez for a while.THIERRY ZOCCOLAN/Getty Images

Lopez would quickly be at home in a squad built on the flair of technical maestros such as Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana.

Klopp has so far bought wisely during his time at Liverpool. He's shunned the star names in favor of less heralded but still quality players who can be developed.

In this context, Marega and Lopez make sense as targets.

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