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Arne Slot set for talks with Liverpool directors as transfer question remains

Teun Koopmeiners of AZ, coach Arne Slot of AZ during the UEFA Europa League play off qualifying first leg match between AZ Alkmaar and Royal Antwerp FC at stadium De Grolsch Veste on August 22, 2019 in Enschede, The Netherlands.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)


Liverpool never lacks for transfer rumors no matter what else is happening at the club. However, the appointment of a new manager inevitably ratchets the flow of stories up a notch or two.

And they often follow a familiar pattern in the current circumstances. The Reds have selected Arne Slot to replace Jürgen Klopp and so they are inevitably being linked with players who have previously worked with the 45-year-old Dutchman.

One of them is Atalanta midfielder Teun Koopmeiners, who faced Liverpool twice in the Europa League this season and delivered the pre-assist for the opener in a win at Anfield. Yet he was rumored to be on the Reds’ radar long before Slot was. With the new manager set to meet club directors shortly, is it finally time for this transfer to occur?

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Koopmeiners joined Atalanta in 2021 and has three years remaining on his current contract. It has been suggested by Sports View that “it would take in the region of” $63.6m (£50m/€58.7m) to purchase him.

If the Reds are looking to sign the 21-cap Netherlands international — who has played alongside Cody Gakpo, Ryan Gravenberch and Virgil van Dijk — they may face competition from Serie A. That’s according to transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano.

“We’re seeing more links with Liverpool, but I’m still told he’s a priority target for Juventus this summer. Juve are working on it,” he wrote. “Let’s see what happens at Liverpool but my information is that there is nothing concrete so far, we will see as soon as Arne Slot meets with the club’s new directors,” Romano added.

How much say the Reds’ new manager will have in the recruitment process remains to be seen. However, while we can only speculate, it’s reasonable to assume Slot might make a strong case for Koopmeiners if he gets to suggest players to Richard Hughes et al.

The new Liverpool manager took charge of 58 matches with AZ Alkmaar and the now-Atalanta man was the only player to appear in every single one of them. Despite being a midfielder, Koopmeiners was second-top scorer for Slot, with 21 goals, and he also delivered seven assists.

And even though Klopp’s successor managed Feyenoord for 148 games, Koopmeiners is still Slot’s 13th-most-used player in his career. There are few footballers he knows so well, and a familiar face may help both men settle at Liverpool.

Liverpool.com says: It's interesting that a former Slot player has been linked with Liverpool for so long, but that doesn't mean a deal is on the cards. With the return of Michael Edwards to the club, the recruitment process should follow the model he previously employed, meaning any rumors from the last couple of seasons carry far less weight.

Equally, until Koopmeiners moves to another club then a possible move to Liverpool will inevitably be spoken about thanks to the Slot connection. And even with Edwards, the recruitment process is bound to be collaborative, meaning that upcoming meeting between coach and directors could prove instructive.