Liverpool are expected to sign a midfielder to replace the departed Gini Wijnaldum and could be interested in bringing in a forward this window, too, and reports out of Germany are now linking the Reds with a player who might just fill both needs.
According to Kicker, Hoffenheim and Austria attacking midfielder Christoph Baumgartner is attracting serious interest from England, with Liverpool and historic rivals Manchester United both considering the 21-year-old as a potential summer signing.
Baumgartner earned Austria their place in the quarter-finals against Italy on Saturday—though in the end they lost 2-1 to the Azzurri—with his late goal against Ukraine to end group stage play and was impressive in the Bundesliga last season.
In the Bundesliga and Europa League he scored nine goals and seven assists in 39 appearances, typically lining up as the left-sided attacking midfielder in Hoffenheim’s 4-2-3-1, which is the same role he played for Austria at the Euros this summer.
While no fee is proposed, given his age, goal return, and a contract through the summer of 2025 makes it unlikely Hoffenheim would let him go for cheap. It’s also worth asking if an attacking midfielder is the sort of player Liverpool will be looking for.
For club and country, Baumgartner fills a role more like Xherdan Shaqiri or ex-Red Philippe Coutinho than Gini Wijnaldum or any current Liverpool forwards. Still, depending on how other stories develop his name could be one to keep an eye on.