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Rumor Mongering: Liverpool Look To Napoli and Schalke For Life After Coutinho

Contingency plans may have to be dusted off after the Brazilian emailed a transfer request.

SSC Napoli v Espanyol - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

A little over two weeks remain in the summer transfer window, and it’s become apparent this will be an absolutely crucial period for Liverpool Football Club and owners Fenway Sports Group. Their star player has requested a transfer, two of their key pursuits appear to be dead in the water, and their manager has shone the spotlight back on the owners after a disappointing season opener.

While the consensus suggests that FSG will try to hang on to Philippe Coutinho, things have reached a point where Liverpool’s contingency plans must be accelerated. According to the Mirror and other outlets, those contingency plans will prioritize Napoli’s prolific midfielder Lorenzo Insigne, with Schalke’s Max Meyer also in the picture as either a supplemental or alternative target.

If Liverpool do intend to pry the Italian international away from the Stadio San Paolo, it will almost certainly require a princely sum (the £60 million mentioned by the Mirror seems low, in this market), not to mention a level of persuasiveness that the Reds have not displayed thus far this summer. Aside from being a key player and goal contributor for his notoriously intransigent club, Insigne is also a local product who only recently signed a contract extension to 2022.

Max Meyer might represent a more feasible acquisition, though it would also be one that doesn’t promise the same goalscoring output. The 21 year old attacking midfielder has been linked to Liverpool before, and recently rejected a contract extension from Schalke amidst a disappointing 2016-17 campaign. Jürgen Klopp had, during his tenure at Borussia Dortmund, purportedly been interested in Meyer, and the Mirror suggests the young man would be open to linking up the German manager.

Meyer’s teammate Leon Goretzka is another name that has surfaced in tenuous links with Liverpool, though those rumors preceded the Coutinho crisis, and were quickly put to bed by Goretzka himself. If Liverpool do intend to replace Coutinho this summer, it’s not surprising that they are keeping those cards close to the chest, but they may be forced to show those cards soon, and two weeks will not be a long time to get anything done.

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