Despite any deal for Adam Lallana being on hold until after the World Cup, there has as yet been little sign of Liverpool moving on to Plan B as they threatened Southampton they would. Though Xherdan Shaqiri and, to a lesser extent, Lazar Markovic have been linked with Liverpool moves, neither could be said to fill the same role Lallana would.
Enter Max Meyer, the 18-year-old German wonderkid who broke into the Schalke first team last season, making 39 appearances and scoring seven goals across all competitions. He so impressed against Chelsea when the two sides faced each other in the Champions League that the London club were rumoured to be planning a £12M opening offer for the player in January.
The Chelsea deal is believed to have never progressed past the enquiry stage as a result of the player himself seeing such a move as counterproductive. Already playing a major role for the side that finished third in Germany, heading to Chelsea only to be farmed out to Vitesse held little appeal. Liverpool, though, might be better placed to tempt him away.
For now, though, any rumours linking him to Liverpool are of the exceedingly tenuous variety, and suggestions he could be had for £8M up front and a laundry list of add-ons does nothing to encourage confidence in the rumours. Die Königsblauen may not be models of Bundesliga sustainability, but given his age, promise, and that he's already a first team regular, it's difficult to imagine him leaving for so little.
He is, though, a phenomenal young talent who would make Liverpool better. And if any side in Germany would be willing to sell off a budding superstar for the right price, it's Schalke.