Liverpool are currently rolling along like a well-oiled machine, but it’s no secret that manager Jürgen Klopp has reinforcements in mind for next season, provided of course that the right ones are available for the right price. Klopp and Fenway Sports Group have shown themselves to be finicky buyers on the open market, willing to stick with current resources if, in their mind, circumstances dictate - but there will almost certainly be new faces arriving over the summer.
With the transfer window a mere three months away, we might now have a sense of Liverpool’s priorities on the acquisition side of the ledger. Paul Joyce of The Times has suggested that the club are going to focus on three positions - a goalkeeper, a holding midfielder, and a Coutinho replacement. For the the first two of those aforementioned positions, AS Roma’s Alisson and SSC Napoli’s Jorginho are the names that have emerged.
If those named targets are accurate, there will be a lot of work before either of those players is leaning at Melwood. There have been lots of reports that Liverpool have pulled out of the running for Alisson’s services, though this could be due to the somewhat inflated prices that his present employers have quoted, with the Merseyside club leery of being charged a premium in the wake of the daylight robbery that was the Mohamed Salah transfer. If Roma are willing to come back to Earth somewhat, it’s suggested that Liverpool could be lured to the negotiating table.
As for Jorginho, the main obstacle for Liverpool is the fact that the Brazil-born Italian midfielder - who has been a vital component of Maurizio Sarri’s squad - would likely be a target of “just about every elite side in Europe” as Joyce puts it. Assuming Napoli are willing to deal, and if Liverpool are able to match other suitors on the financial front, it could come down to personal preferences, and Klopp’s bewitching smile will be asked to work wonders again.
Those transfer priorities also suggest that Simon Mignolet is almost certainly down to his last days in a Liverpool shirt, especially if Loris Karius keeps demonstrating his rapid improvement. It would also seem that the club are planning for life without Emre Can, and that Jordan Henderson is far from locked in as Naby Keïta’s default midfield partner once the new season begins. As for the Coutinho replacement, astute Klobbservers will know by now that it’s just as likely to be a Marquee Signing (tm) as it is to be Adam Lallana.