Watching Manchester City’s fifth goal fly past Simon Mignolet at the weekend, the Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp may have concluded that he probably does need a new centre-back after all that. In fact, he probably needs two.
The Reds’ maddening pursuit of Virgil van Dijk will no doubt be resumed as soon as the transfer window re-opens, but the Mirror reports that Klopp will also be seeking a central defensive partner for the lanky Dutchman. And that is another lanky Dutchman, Stefan de Vrij.
The tabloid claims – via Calciomercato – that Liverpool will battle Italian giants Juventus and Inter Milan to sign the 25-year-old De Vrij, whose contract with Lazio runs out next summer.
Talks over a new deal have reportedly “stalled”, meaning the Reds could snap him up on a free transfer in a year’s time, or for a bargain price in January. Their urgency will probably depend on how many more 5-0 defeats they suffer between now and the New Year.
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Another man who looks increasingly unlikely to agree a new contract in Mesut Ozil, who the Sun says is almost certain to quit Arsenal on a freebie at the end of the season.
The German has apparently not even spoken to the club about a new deal since negotiations “broke down” in February.
Arsene Wenger is acting predictably chilled about the situation, insisting Ozil’s performances will not be “compromised” by the uncertainty over his future. Presumably the German’s form will just cruise along at the same mediocre level it has been for the past year then.
Costa ‘finally leaves Brazil’
Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho “still wants to join West Ham”, says the Mirror, despite his failed summer transfer sparking a bitter war of words between the two clubs, and the fact that the Hammers have since shown themselves to be rubbish.
Apparently the Portuguese international remains hopeful the clubs can “bury the hatchet” and revive the deal in January. He seems like such a sweet and innocent boy. – the kind that could certainly be corrupted by a pair of (allegedly) dildo-wielding businessmen.
Diego Costa has finally left Brazil and headed, not back to Chelsea as requested, but to Madrid to “force through a move” to his former club Atletico, says the Metro.
The Mail adds that the Spanish outfit have made a revised offer of £40m for the striker, plus £9m in add-ons and a £4m bonus payment “for Costa’s early release”, and hope to get the deal concluded “this week”. We’ve heard that before.
Elsewhere, Roy Hodgson turned down two big-money offers to coach in the Chinese Super League before moving to Crystal Palace (Mirror), Barcelona are set to renew their interest in Nice midfielder Jean Michael Seri in January after “calling off” a move for Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho (Sun) and Jack Wilshere rejected a move to Turkish side Trabzonspor this summer because he wanted to fight for his Arsenal place (Sun). And also because he didn’t want to play for a team he couldn’t spell.