Last week, Bild kicked off the return of Kyriakos Papadopoulos to Liverpool rumours, suggesting the Reds were keeping close watch on the centre half as he continues to recover from a knee injury that has limited his playing time over the past two seasons. They even thought a £5M bid, a gamble on a young defender once valued at three times that fee being able to get back to his best, was in the works.
This week, a string of British papers including the The Metro and now Telegraph have taken the rumour a little further. They have also suggested that Bayer Leverkusen, where Papadoloulos has spent the season on loan, signalled they were willing to pay Schalke’s €6M/£4.4M asking price but that the player had told both clubs he didn’t intend to remain in Germany beyond the end of the current season.
Papadopoulos’ Schalke contract runs through the end of next season, and if the defender has decided he wants to leave Germany to try to get his career back on track there’s little reason to think he won’t be able to force a move. And if it’s true that Schalke were willing to sell him to Leverkusen for less than half what they were asking for from Liverpool two years ago, it’s likely there’s a club somewhere in Europe’s other top leagues who will be willing to take the gamble.
Still only 23 years of age, before his knee injury, Papadopoulos was considered one of the brightest defensive prospects on the continent and was a regular in the Greek national team. His recovery from injury, though, continues to be a slow process—one that is still going on. He has looked better and been given more minutes in recent months, though, and it could be that by next season he will be ready to make a major contribution.
The question now appears to be where, though if the rumoured asking price and the player’s desire to leave Germany are accurate, it’s not entirely crazy to think that Liverpool might take a gamble on him—particularly if Brendan Rodgers has decided to cut his losses with Dejan Lovren.