Five midfielders Liverpool could look to sign on loan before the end of the January transfer window
Liverpool are reportedly looking to bolster their midfield options in the January transfer window and may make a fresh plunge into the loan market.
The Reds have been heavily linked with Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham and Wolves’ Matheus Nunes but those deals won’t happen until the summer transfer window.
According to reports, Jurgen Klopp wants a stop-gap solution as Liverpool look to mount a push to bring Champions League football back to Anfield for next season.
We’ve taken a look at five midfielders that they could look to sign on loan during the final few days of the January transfer window.
An Ajax academy graduate, Gravenberch established himself as one of the best young midfielders in Europe during his time in the Eredivisie.
His impressive performances at the Johan Cruyff Arena earned him a £20m move to Bayern Munich during the summer transfer window but his time in Germany hasn’t gone to plan so far.
The 20-year-old is behind Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Marcel Sabitzer in the pecking order and is yet to start a Bundesliga game, making 11 substitute appearances in the competition.
Due to his lack of playing time at club level, Gravenberch was then left out of Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands squad at the World Cup.
A loan move away from Bayern could do him the world of good and Liverpool, who are in desperate need of midfield reinforcements, can offer him the game time his development requires.
Gravenberch, like Bellingham, is a dynamic box-to-box midfielder who can create chances and score goals while also putting in a shift from a defensive perspective.
Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara are both in their 30s so the 20-year-old would give Liverpool some much-needed younger legs in the middle of the park.
His agent was recently spotted at Anfield during Liverpool’s 0-0 draw with Chelsea, fuelling speculation that the youngster could join the Reds on a temporary deal.
Alongside Gravenberch, Kessie also moved clubs during the summer transfer window as he left AC Milan and joined Barcelona on a free transfer.
The deal was initially regarded as a real coup for Barcelona as the 26-year-old had just played an integral role in Milan’s title-winning campaign.
But he has struggled for game time since joining the Spanish giants, starting just seven games in all competitions and making a further 13 substitute appearances.
The Ivory Coast international already has to compete with Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Pedri and Gavi and Barcelona are reportedly looking to sign Inter Milan’s Marcelo Brozovic before the end of the January transfer window.
Despite only being six months into his time in Catalonia, he could look for a swift change of scenery in order to get his career back on track ahead of the 2023/24 season.
Barcelona are reportedly keen to offload players to lighten their wage bill so Liverpool should try and sign the midfielder on a short-term loan deal while offering to pay the majority of his wages.
With Fabinho struggling for form in 2022/23, Kessie’s ability to break up opposition attacks would be a real asset for the Reds.
Elmas has been a consistent performer for Napoli since joining the club in 2019 but has found minutes harder to come by this season as he faces competition from Stanislav Lobotka, Piotr Zielinski, Tanguy Ndombele and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa.
Despite only starting six games in Serie A in 2022/23, he has still registered five goals and one assist for Napoli, which is a direct goal contribution every 127.3 minutes.
Admittedly, the 23-year-old might not want to leave a Napoli side that are on the verge of making history by winning their first Serie A title since the days of Diego Maradona.
But Luciano Spalletti’s side are being heavily linked with a move for Angers midfielder Azzedine Ounahi and that signing would push Elmas further down the pecking order.
According to journalist Ahmet Ercanlar, Jurgen Klopp spoke with Elmas over the phone and told the North Macedonia international that he wants him at Anfield.
Capable of playing as a central midfielder, attacking midfielder or even wide on the left, Elmas can cover a number of different roles and would provide Liverpool with a greater goal threat from midfield.
While Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis is known as a tough negotiator, the Serie A side may be willing to let the midfielder leave on a temporary deal if Liverpool offer a healthy loan fee.
Rodrigo de Paul
Having starred for Udinese, De Paul moved to Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2021 but has failed to replicate his best form at the Metropolitano Stadium.
He has started just nine La Liga games in 2022/23 and reportedly has a strained relationship with manager Diego Simeone, who often prefers to play the likes of Geoffrey Kondogbia, Koke and Marcos Llorente in the middle of the park.
Despite his struggles at club level, the Argentina international was outstanding for his country in the World Cup, helping them to win the tournament for the first time since 1986.
Atletico, who are allegedly going through financial difficulties after getting knocked out of the Champions League in the group stages, have already loaned out Matheus Cunha and Joao Felix this month and are now willing to offload De Paul.
According to reports in Spain and Italy, Inter Milan, Juventus and Udinese can’t afford to buy the 28-year-old in January but they all hope to secure a loan deal with an option to buy.
Liverpool should look to hijack that deal as De Paul is a strong ball carrier and he would give the Reds a creative spark from midfield.
Ruiz was reportedly on Liverpool’s radar at the start of 2022, only for the former Napoli midfielder to join Paris Saint-Germain in a €21.5m deal.
He has had a mixed start to life in Paris and is yet to establish himself in Christophe Galtier’s best XI, starting in just eight of their opening 19 Ligue 1 games in 2022/23.
Marco Verratti and Vitinha have formed an impressive partnership in the middle of the park while Galtier also has Renato Sanches and Carlos Soler at his disposal.
Liverpool should test the waters and make a loan offer for the Spain international, who is renowned for his impressive passing ability and can provide a link between defence and attack.
But the Reds will reportedly face competition from Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Real Betis if PSG are willing to loan him out for the rest of the season.
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