After signing Schalke’s Joel Matip on a free earlier in the week, papers in Germany have been looking around for who else Jürgen Klopp might be able to bring to Liverpool on a free transfer this summer. It’s taken a couple of days, but the consensus appears to have settled on Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Håvard Nordtveit.
The 25-year-old holding midfielder joined Monchengladbach in January of 2011 from Arsenal for a bargain £800k fee, and since then he has been a key squad player though not a guaranteed starter for the Bundesliga’s mid-table regulars, playing 30 games a season for them in all competitions. He has also made 24 appearances for Norway since 2011.
So far this season, he has played in 18 of Monchengladbach’s 21 league games, or around 70% of the minutes. A strong, well-rounded defensive specialist who is competent in most areas without really standing out in any, in a pinch Nordtveit can also fill in at centre half or fullback. He also appears fully set on moving on to a new club this summer.
"My advisor is currently on holiday, then we’ll see," Nordtveit told reporters in Germany when he was pressed about his future plans. At the same time, Monchengladbach sporting director Max Eberl has claimed that the club offered Nordtveit a competitive deal but that at the end of the day, German clubs simply cannot compete with the Premier League.
That admission, and the implication Premier League money was stopping Nordtveit signing a new deal with Monchengladbach, kicked off the latest round of rumours. There appears no reason to think it is Liverpool who are dangling the cash in front of him, but with Klopp at the helm it doesn’t seem a massive stretch that outlets like Bild think they are.
Nordtveit wouldn’t offer Liverpool a clear upgrade at the position, but he would be free and his wage likely wouldn’t be unreasonable by Premier League standards. Plus he would add depth and some versatility at a position Liverpool have been lacking at in recent seasons. It’s not the most exciting rumour out there, but it’s one that’s easy to see coming true.