Earlier in the week, Cologne’s 25-year-old left back Jonas Hector was linked with a Liverpool move after the player admitted he would be tempted if Jürgen Klopp were to come calling. Yesterday, he scored his first goal for Germany against Italy.
Put the two together, and suddenly Hector is a major transfer story and his manager is having to field questions about his future. And on that front, Cologne boss Peter Stoger has suggested that anything better than a €10M bid for the fullback would have to be given serious consideration by the club.
"I don’t need to talk about something that might happen in the summer, but if somebody offered us a three-figure million amount we’d probably give in," Stoker at first joked when asked what would happen to his side’s left back at the end of the season, but he quickly gave a more serious response.
"If somebody were to offer a double-digit million amount we would consider it, or if Jonas comes and says he no longer feels he wants to be here we also have to consider it. It’s clear why he is drawing attention, and when a player like Jonas who is always working to improve is in the limelight, it’s a great story."
In past seasons, Hector wasn’t a player who would have drawn this sort of attention. That good form, though, has him likely to at least be in the Germany squad at this summer’s Euros, and based on how he’s played for Cologne this season he would be tough competition for Alberto Moreno at Liverpool.
However, he is two years older than Moreno and, though a solid player, would seem to lack the same kind of upside as Liverpool’s current left back—he and Moreno would be neck-and-neck to start now, but given the two extra years of starting football Hector has already got, Moreno could be better.
Still, there’s little doubt Hector would at the very least improve Liverpool’s squad right now, and his arrival would certainly please fans who would prefer defensive solidity first from their fullbacks, even at the cost of some attacking guile. Plus, there do appear to be real signs of interest on both sides.
"There are worse problems for a club," added the Cologne manager, "than having to deal with a player who might later on change clubs because they are in incredible form."