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Liverpool Take Transparent Approach to Summer Transfer Targets

In an unusual step, the club appear to have made clear who their top four transfer targets are this year.

Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Most years, keeping a close eye on journalists with ties to a club will give you a fairly good idea who that club is chasing in the transfer market and what's just noise—agents trying to get their clients a better deal at some other club or rumour mongers trying to fill empty space.

As the end of the 2016-17 season ends it's been no different for Liverpool fans. Ask most who the club's top centre half target is and you'll get back the answer Vigil van Dijk while at left back, interest appears to have settled solidly on Fulham teenager Ryan Sessegnon.

Meanwhile in midfield, the versatile Naby Keita—a player who could reasonably take on a holding or shuttling role based on his time at RB Leipzig—looks the top target and in attack, rather than an out-and-out striker, pace and positional flexibility takes the lead with Julian Brandt.

Goalkeeper is no longer a top priority. Striker, despite the likely departure of Daniel Sturridge, isn't either. Most years, it takes a bit of work to figure these sorts of things out with any kind of certainty. This year, the club seem quite nearly to be broadcasting their intentions.

Today, the Liverpool Echo helped them to double down on that by running down a list of the club's top targets, reaffirming that those four players most people seemed to believe were Liverpool's top targets were indeed the club's top targets. That those four are who Jürgen Klopp wants.

It would be lovely were it to all pan out, of course. But it seems a potential recipe for disaster and more than a little embarrassment given right now Liverpool aren't even assured of finishing in the top four and qualifying for the Champion League.

Miss out on Europe's top competition, and a list of players already tough to get—Arsenal and Chelsea have also been linked with van Dijk, Keita has been named in connection with Bayern Munich, and so it goes—will turn into a list of players nearly impossible to get.

Right now, there is a very real risk not of Liverpool missing out on one or two of their top public targets but on each and every one of them. For now, though, fans trying to imagine what the squad might look like next year won't have to do much imagining.

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