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Liverpool Transfer News: Latest on Lorenzo Insigne, Top Rumours

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistNovember 12, 2016

NAPLES, ITALY - FEBRUARY 25:  Lorenzo Insigne of Napoli in action during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 second leg match between SSC Napoli and Villarreal FC on February 25, 2016 in Naples, Italy.  (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp reportedly thinks Napoli's Lorenzo Insigne would be a good replacement for Barcelona target Philippe Coutinho, if the Brazilian playmaker were to leave the Anfield club.

Klopp is said to be willing to pay as much as €30 million for winger Insigne if he has to replace Coutinho, according to Italian source Mediaset Premium (h/t Football Italia).

The same source indicated how Insigne's difficult contract situation at Napoli could help the Reds land their man: "Insigne is currently in fraught contract negotiations with his hometown club, who are refusing to double his wages. On the other hand, Liverpool would reportedly be prepared to offer €30 million for the transfer fee plus a contract worth €6.5 million per year."

Those reports also detailed how Napoli are running the rule over Manchester United flop Memphis Depay. The Netherlands winger is being seen as a replacement for Insigne, should he leave.

Napoli are reportedly considering Depay to replace contract rebel Insigne.
Napoli are reportedly considering Depay to replace contract rebel Insigne.Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Insigne hasn't always had it easy in Naples. Back in February, he and his wife were robbed at gunpoint by apparent Napoli fans, per Nick Squires of the Daily Telegraph.

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Still, at his best, Insigne would be a quality signing for any Premier League side. The 25-year-old Italy international boasts the core talents of a genuine match-winner, provided he can establish some consistency.

Among his key traits are impressive pace, instant acceleration and clever movement off the ball. Insigne makes threatening runs that always put him in scoring positions.

Those qualities helped the quick-witted attacker to 12 goals and 10 assists in Serie A action last season, according to WhoScored.com. He hasn't found the net yet in this campaign, but he has supplied four assists, per the same source.

As much as his output in the final third, though, Insigne's versatility should appeal to Klopp. He can play on either flank or even operate through the middle.

Klopp values that level of flexibility in a style of play built on intelligent attacking midfielders rotating positions at pace. No player has thrived more in Klopp's system than Coutinho.

He talked up the freedom of movement Klopp encourages in his players after Liverpool beat West Bromwich Albion 2-1 back in October, per the Premier League official site:

Premier League @premierleague

Coutinho: “That’s what the manager asks, no fixed positions, everyone moves and everyone can be in all parts of the pitch" #LIVWBA https://t.co/waiMapjLlf

But Liverpool's gifted South American No. 10 has emerged as a serious target for Barcelona. In fact, officials at the Camp Nou club believe the player's close relationship with Brazilian attacker Neymar, along with his fit for Barca's style of play, makes a move possible, per Spanish publication Sport (h/t MailOnline's Amitai Winehouse).

Yet Paul Joyce of the Times isn't so sure. He's revealed how the lack of a buyout clause in Coutinho's contract could hinder Barca's chances of signing the playmaker, who is valued at close to £67 million, according to Spanish source Diario Madridsta (h/t Alex Wood of the Daily Star).

Liverpool will rightly be keen to keep Coutinho for as long as possible. But if Barca offer the reported asking price, £67 million may be too tempting to resist—especially if Klopp could seal a deal for Insigne, who would be a worthy addition to any attack in England's top flight.

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