It’s the international break, which means we’re back to splitting our time between hoping that Liverpool’s players don’t get themselves hurt ahead of the final, decisive stretch of the 2018-19 season and dealing with a spike in transfer rumours.
On the latter front, the latest involves reports out of Spain claiming Liverpool and Tottenham are both interested in Real Sociedad’s 25-year-old centre half Diego Llorente. Given the Reds’ injury concerns at the position, it’s not the most surprising link.
While Virgil van Dijk has been the best defender in the league—and maybe even in all of Europe—there has been no consistency as to who he pairs with as none of Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren, or Joël Matip have managed to stay fit this season.
That has left many to assume that at least one new player will be signed at the back over the summer, and Mundo Deportivo claim that Llorente is high on Liverpool’s list—and also on Tottenham’s—of new centre half candidates.
If he ends up the one, his acquisition would at least seem straightforward enough—Liverpool or Spurs would have to trigger a £42M release clause since, at least according to Mundo Deportivo, Sociedad have no interest in selling Llorente.
At that price, though, Llorente would have to be arriving as Van Dijk’s new partner and not as an upgrade on Matip, who many expect will move on this summer if he believes that he will remain behind Gomez and Lovren in the pecking order.
And given how highly Jürgen Klopp rates both Gomez and Lovren, it’s an open question as to whether the club would actually have any interest in that kind of a signing, so in the end it might be that there’s nothing to this latest rumour.
Still, Liverpool will likely sign a new centre half this summer, especially if Matip does leave the club, and having been linked now it’s likely Llorente will continue to be talked about as an option moving forward.