Tenuous transfer link to a Bundesliga star? Check. Supposed competition from richer domestic rivals? Check. An ace card in manager Jürgen Klopp? Check. Conflicting information and wild assumptions? Also check. And really, without that last, there’d hardly be a transfer rumour worth talking about in February.
The Bundesliga star in question is Granit Xhaka, who towards the end of January Bild claimed Liverpool had made their top target for the summer. The supposed competition came a week later, with news that Arsenal and Manchester City had joined the fight and may already have surpassed Liverpool for all the obvious reasons.
It’s only the middle of February, though, which means a few twists and turns are needed to keep fans caught up in the latest transfer saga that will probably, like most transfer sagas, end up a whole lot of nothing when it’s all said and done. That twist is Jürgen Klopp, who is now said to have put Liverpool back in the lead for Xhaka.
Alongside suggestions Klopp could just tip the scales in favour of Liverpool, Xhaka is also doing his part to drive the growing transfer saga. That’s because 23-year-old star defensive midfielder is talking about dreams—dreams he admits might never come true—while in the background there are links to the Premier League.
"I think everybody has a dream," Xhaka told Sky Germany this week when asked about the chance that maybe, some day, he could be plying his trade in the Premier League. "Everybody has a childhood dream and that’s my childhood dream. If it comes true remains to be seen, and at the moment I cannot say how realistic it is."
So. Granit Xhaka has a dream. A dream to play in the Premier League. As for the conflicting information and wild assumptions part, those have to do with a recent set of reports that Xhaka may have already agreed terms with Liverpool based on the entirely false belief that his current contract was set to expire in the summer.
It isn’t. Xhaka is under contract at Borussia Monchengladbach until 2019. What he does have is a release clause of €30M that kicks in in the summer of 2017, which fuelled earlier speculation that if he pushed for a move this summer his club would have little choice but to sell him if they wanted to make back more than that.
If Monchengladbach know he wants to leave—say, perhaps, because of a childhood dream—then offering them more than the €30M they would get for him in 2017 might just get a deal done. Agreeing terms already, though, or being a lock to move to any of Liverpool or Arsenal or City, remains pure speculation.