Liverpool entered January knowing they needed to try to bring in width and pace; that with Sadio Mané heading to the Africa Cup of Nations, the squad’s lack of depth in that area was about to be tested. There are other areas where, potentially, the club could improve, but none had the same urgency.
Yet today, Portugal’s A Bola claim there’s another position that Jürgen Klopp considers a top priority: the base of midfield. They also claim that while Liverpool were in Lisbon finalising Lazar Markovic’s loan termination at Sporting, they began discussions about a potential transfer of William Carvalho.
Long rumoured to be an Arsenal target, and even tentatively linked with an Anfield move in the past, the once highly promising young midfield anchor is now a 24-year-old regular for club and country. And, having priced him out of a big move for the past few years, Sporting are now willing to deal.
Or at least that’s how the story goes, claiming a £26M transfer is possible and negotiations are at an advanced stage. Yet, despite A Bola’s claims, the fact remains that Liverpool don’t consider holding midfield to be any kind of a priority, and Klopp rates Jordan Henderson highly in the role.
Liverpool, if they do deal, will be looking for a player who slots in and strengthens the side. In Carvalho they’d be getting a player who remains as much promise as proven and who would demand a tactical and positional reshuffle to fit him in. That doesn’t make his transfer impossible, but it does make it a stretch.
Then, of course, there’s the fact that the paper doing the rumour mongering here is A Bola, who linked the Reds with a solid half-dozen pricy young Portuguese stars over the summer—each and every one a sure thing, their deal nearly done. None, in the end, were actual Liverpool targets.
Meanwhile, sources with ties to the club are claiming that in this case, once again, the player isn’t an actual target. There’s always the chance, of course, that they’re wrong; that a deal actually is in the works. All things considered, though, Carvalho to Liverpool seems a rumour safe to dismiss.