One linked fullback fades, and another rises up to take his place. With Jonas Hector rumoured to be signing a new deal to keep at FC Köln for the foreseeable future, the left back many Liverpool fans wanted but who few journalists with ties to the club believed they were actually ever in for is about to become a non-option.
Meanwhile, in Italy, Gazzetta dello Sport are today claiming the Reds have launched a bid of around €19M for AC Milan fullback Mattia De Sciglio, a 23-year-old who represented Italy at the Euros this summer and who has shown an ability to cover both sides of the pitch, making him a potential one-stop solution for the Reds.
The proposed fee is high, especially for a player who would be backing up Nathaniel Clyne on the right, which is his more natural side as a right footed player, and competing with Alberto Moreno for minutes on his weaker flank. It’s a high fee for a player who, as easy shorthand, would be arriving as an upgrade on Jon Flanagan.
De Sciglio, though, is a solid young defender with decent pace and the ability to get up the pitch in support of the attack. He isn’t a clear upgrade on Moreno, particularly given he’s right footed, but the two could be expected to compete hard for the starting role, with the club likely benefitting whichever came out on top.
And, at the end of the day, it’s a fee Liverpool could certainly afford given Jürgen Klopp was promised £70M plus sales this summer and the club currently stand a decent chance of ending up with a near-neutral net spend thanks to outgoings—which have included the likes of recouping £15M from Bournemouth for Jordon Ibe.
Of course, so far at least, there has been nothing from the Liverpool end to suggest interest in the player, let alone that the club has actually made a bid. And for those who see rumour mongering in England as a morass of uncertain and unlikely, the game in Italy makes English rumour mongering look downright respectable.
Still, despite Jürgen Klopp’s recent suggestions he doesn’t need fullback reinforcements as James Milner can cover the position, many fans would desperately like to see one arrive. And with Jonas Hector coming off the table for good and plenty of money to spend, the club could do worse than Mattia De Sciglio.