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Rumour Mongering: Divock Origi is Juventus’ Top Striker Target

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Reports in Italy claim Juventus have targeted the Liverpool striker to replace Mario Mandzukic.

Derby County v Liverpool - EFL Cup Third Round Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

It may only be the first week of October, but for rumour mongers, that means a full month has passed since the close of the summer transfer window and it’s well past time to start laying the foundations for January. Today, those foundations involve Liverpool and a striker, but it’s not Daniel Sturridge.

No, this time around it’s Divock Origi being linked with a move, as reports in Italy claim the young Belgian is Juventus’ top target to replace Mario Mandzukic, who is rumoured to have interested a handful of Premier League clubs. If he leaves in January, the rumour mongers say, Origi would be the favoured replacement.

The rumours, being pushed most heavily by Calciomercato, say that Arsenal’s Oliver Giroud would be Plan B for Juventus should Mandzukic depart and a deal for Origi not be possible. Over the summer, Mandzukic was heavily linked with a Chelsea move, though reports claim there are other English clubs interested.

After a quite promising 2015-16 season at Liverpool that saw Origi impress after the arrival of Jürgen Klopp, minutes have been hard to come by for the 21-year-old this season. The presumption had been that he would be the second striker on the depth chart, but Roberto Firmino regularly leading the line has dropped him to third.

That, along with a lack of European football, has meant fewer minutes for Origi. Still, the player’s promise remains clear, and it seems unlikely the club would be interested in letting Origi depart in January given there is not need for Liverpool to sell in order to do significant business should they want to.

Over the summer, Klopp was promised around £70M plus sales. Instead of spending it, he turned a small net profit. That money remains in place should the manager wish to make a splashy January purchase, meaning a January departure is only plausible if it involves the player pushing hard to depart.