Liverpool need midfield reinforcements. They needed them before Adam Lallana suffered a serious injury and regardless of the Philippe Coutinho situation, and that the Brazilian star now looks set to stay at the club for at least one more season doesn’t change that.
Liverpool need midfield reinforcements, and unlike at centre half where it is Virgil van Dijk or nothing, the club are at least looking at alternatives and have been since their attempts to sign Naby Keïta ended. And according to Spain’s Don Balon, one of those midfielders could be Real Madrid’s Mateo Kovacic.
The Madrid-centric outlet claim today that Liverpool are eying the 23-year-old Kovacic in case they lose Coutinho, but Liverpool were always determined not to sell the player under any circumstance and regardless of fee, and Barcelona appear to have finally accepted that.
As such, if Liverpool’s interest in Kovacic—a player they were strongly linked to in the past—this summer is legitimate, it won’t be as a potential Coutinho replacement. It would be as a signing to strengthen a midfield that really does need a bit of strengthening.
Reports in Spain, though, also have Madrid recently turning down a €75M offer for Kovacic from Juventus. It’s about what RB Leipzig turned down for Keïta when Liverpool made their second bid, and if true would suggest a deal for Kovacic isn’t really all that likely.
Yet as Liverpool fans have learned with the Coutinho transfer saga, a bid isn’t all about the top line number—payment schedule and add-ons can make a big difference. With Keita, Liverpool were willing to pay as much as €50M up front with the rest coming in year two and few significant add-ons.
Really, though, it seems unlikely Liverpool will move for Kovacic, who has established himself as a regular if not guaranteed starter for Madrid and would cost a great deal. Still, the club have money to spend and clearly need to bring in a midfielder before the transfer window closes in ten days.
It doesn’t have to be Keïta, and it doesn’t have to be Kovacic, and it doesn’t have to be Nice’s Jean Seri or PSG’s Julian Draxler. But they do need to sign somebody.