Joel Matip, Neven Subotic, and now Andrea Ranocchia. About the only thing that seems clear right now is that Liverpool are desperately seeking defensive reinforcements. No matter how quickly the club can bring someone in, he won’t be available to face Exeter on Friday. Arsenal on Wednesday, though, appears a realistic target.
Speculation the player arriving to shore up the defence before Liverpool’s mid-week league clash could be Inter Milan veteran Andrea Ranocchia increased today, with widespread reports in both the Italian and English press claiming a deal was close to done, one that would see the 27-year-old arrive on Merseyside shortly. Less clear is if it would be on loan or a permanent deal.
Gazetta dello Sport claim Liverpool have offered £7M for the services of the former Inter captain who has fallen out of favour with manager Roberto Mancini. He made 42 appearances for the club last year as captain but, at its end, found himself stripped of the armband. This season it has been given to Mauro Icardi instead, and Ranocchia has made just ten appearances.
Elsewhere, the suggestion is Liverpool are looking to secure the Italian international on loan, perhaps with an option to buy the physically imposing and tactically sound but technically limited defender at the end of the season. And while Liverpool’s interest in Ranocchia remains unconfirmed by sources with ties to the club, it’s clear he is available.
The defender has been told he is free to find a new home, and Inter reportedly accepted a recent £7M bid from Norwich City only for the player to block the move. The possibility of resurrecting his career at Anfield, though, would surely seem a more appealing option. And the price appears to have been set, making for a deal Liverpool could likely wrap up quickly.
Liverpool are in the market for a centre half, and Ranocchia is an intriguing option at what could turn out to be a bargain price. But so too are Subotic and Matip. Which of the three centre halves actually ends up at the club isn’t clear, but one of Ranocchia, Subotic, or Matip seems almost certain to be signed within a week.