While any move would have to wait for the summer, reports out of Germany today claim Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has already pinpointed Borussia Monchengladbach and Swiss international midfielder Granit Xhaka as his top target.
The aggressive, well-rounded midfielder has been linked with a Liverpool move in the past, and Bild today claim that discussions have already begun between the club and the 23-year-old Xhaka’s representatives in an effort to lay the foundations for a summer move.
Xhaka is currently under contract until 2019, but it is believed that the deal he signed has a €30M release clause that kicks in the summer of 2017. That would mean that it won’t be active next summer, but if the player does push to leave it could provide some leverage.
Liverpool would still have to offer enough over that number to make it worth it for Monchengladbach to let him go a year before the clause kicks in, but with the Pound strong and another major television deal on the horizon the Reds can certainly afford that for a top target.
Arsenal have also been linked with Xhaka in the past, but Bild believe that Klopp’s presence at Anfield would give Liverpool a clear advantage. Meanwhile, Monchengladbach already appear to have accepted they will lose the star midfielder at the end of the season.
"Gladbach is a club that needs to start over and over again," said manager Max Eberl this month. "We have had many players leave such as [Marco] Reus and [Marc Andre] ter Stegen, [Max] Kruse and [Christoph] Kramer. In the summer, perhaps Xhaka will join them."