Liverpool are poised to battle with Tottenham for the signing of a Fulham star after Jurgen Klopp began targeting him, according to reports.
Liverpool are assessing several midfielders to try and improve their woes in the area. Klopp has had multiple Liverpool midfielders pick up injuries this campaign, while his preferred trio of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Thiago are not getting any younger either.
The Reds’ top target is Jude Bellingham. However, there are a couple of concerns about this deal.
First of all, due to his immense performances for Borussia Dortmund and England, the German club can charge an astronomical fee. And this could rule Liverpool out of the running.
Secondly, Real Madrid want to sign Bellingham too. And last month, Spanish outlet AS reported that the 19-year-old would prefer to join Real over Liverpool.
As a result of these factors, Liverpool are having to sound out alternatives to Bellingham. One option they have landed on is Brighton’s Moises Caicedo.
He has been exceptional for the Seagulls in the last 18 months. In a welcome boost for Liverpool, Klopp recently found out Caicedo would move to Anfield if the opportunity came about.
However, Newcastle like the look of the Ecuadorian too. They could blow Liverpool away with a massive offer for him due to their hugely rich owners.
Wolves star Matheus Nunes is also on Liverpool’s radar. But he has had a troublesome start to his Wolves career amid their poor form – they sit 19th in the Premier League – and the change in manager.
Top Fulham performer wanted by Liverpool
As such, Liverpool may want to sign an impressive Fulham man instead. According to transfer insider Dean Jones, writing for GiveMeSport, Klopp is plotting a move for Joao Palhinha.
The 27-year-old left Sporting Lisbon in summer 2022 as Fulham spent £20million to sign him on a five-year contract, as per Sky Sports. That transfer came after Palhinha had been linked with the clubs such as Manchester United, Tottenham and Wolves.
Ultimately, it was Fulham who won the race for him, and they have been benefitting ever since. Palhinha has been one of Fulham’s best players in his 18 appearances this campaign, during which he has registered three goals.
WhoScored give him a rating of 7.05 for the season so far, putting him behind only Aleksandar Mitrovic and Bernd Leno in the Fulham squad.
Palhinha, who represents the Portuguese national team alongside Nunes, has adapted brilliantly to life in the Premier League. He is an all-action midfielder who provides his defenders with plenty of cover but can also get forward and score goals.
Jones claims Liverpool are ‘casting an eye’ on Palhinha ahead of a potential move for him this summer. And the Merseyside club have apparently been looking at him for a long time, dating back to his Sporting days.
However, it will not be straightforward for Liverpool to sign Palhinha. That is because Tottenham are also interested in completing a deal with Fulham for him. This sets up a potential transfer tussle between Liverpool and Spurs at the end of the season.
Palhinha will try to continue shining with Fulham over the next six months. This will increase his prospects of achieving a big transfer in the summer.
Fulham fans would love him to remain at Craven Cottage for at least a couple of seasons. But Palhinha has shown he can compete with pretty much all top-flight midfielders. As such, a move away from the club is highly likely to happen.
Meanwhile, an observer reckons Liverpool are ‘flawed’ when they have one big name in their starting eleven.
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