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Liverpool to Take Second Swing at Napoli Midfielder

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But Jorginho remains the more likely target for the Reds.

SSC Napoli v Atalanta BC - TIM Cup Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

It has been less than a week since well-connected Paul Joyce reported to the world that Jorginho, Napoli’s playmaking Brazilian, was Jürgen Klopp’s first choice when looking to bolster an Emre Can and Philippe Coutinho-less midfield in the summer transfer window. These claims were widely met with approval of the chosen player — the former Verona man would be an absolutely lethal piece in the Reds’ transition game — and some skepticism in the club’s trend of publicly identifying their transfer targets.’

It is known, however, that rumour mongers never rest, and so, a daily transfer link — well-founded or not — must be produced to satisfy the thirsty transfer gods. Going back to a former target is a well-worn practice when genuine links are hard to come by, which is in all likelihood how Corriere dello Sport have come up with this fresh batch of Piotr Zielinski speculation.

The former Udinese man was supposedly close to an Anfield move in the summer of 2016, with the Reds backing out of the deal on account of the £13m price tag, settling instead on £25m man Georginio Wijnaldum. Those in agreement with that decision will undoubtedly wonder why Klopp would go back in for Zielinski now, given that Napoli are now demanding in excess of £55m for the 23-year old.

Certainly, Zielinski has played a role in the sublime Napoli midfield challenging Juventus for the Scudetto this year, but he is comfortably fourth choice, behind Marek Hamsik, Allan, and the aforementioned Jorginho. Furthermore, while the Polish international — bullishly touted as the new De Bruyne by manager Maurizio Sarri — has garnered rave reviews for his play this season, he is playing less than was the case last year, and is contributing fewer goals, assists and ball progressions per 90 minutes. All of which makes the 350% markup difficult to justify.

While Zielinski does fit the mold of an offensive, high-energy central midfielder Klopp appears partial to, he doesn’t offer anything not already covered by Naby Keïta, Gini Wijnaldum and Adam Lallana, and as such, there is probably not much in this.