Liverpool icon tells Jurgen Klopp to snub Declan Rice pursuit for surprise Premier League star

Reported Liverpool target Declan Rice and Joelinton Credit: Alamy
Reported Liverpool target Declan Rice and Joelinton Credit: Alamy

Dietmar Hamann has urged Liverpool to pursue Newcastle United midfielder Joelinton over West Ham United’s Declan Rice.

Liverpool will likely sign a new central midfielder next year with their current crop struggling this season.

Their top target is believed to be Borussia Dortmund and England starlet Jude Bellingham.

There will be a lot of competition for the 19-year-old’s signature, with Manchester City and Real Madrid also interested.

And the Reds’ start to 2022/23 has done themselves no favours in their pursuit of Bellingham.

Jurgen Klopp’s side went into the campaign with title aspirations but after 12 Premier League games are 15 points behind pacesetters Arsenal.

They are now facing an uphill battle to finish in the top four.

No Champions League football will probably be a deal breaker for Bellingham and other top targets.

Rice and Joelinton could be more realistic with West Ham unlikely to qualify for Europe, although Newcastle are currently fourth and have only lost once all season.

23-year-old Rice is valued by his club – like Bellingham – above £100million.

David Moyes has often spoken about interest in the England man, once stating that his asking price is £150m.

Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool have been linked with Rice, but Hamann reckons his former side should pursue Joelinton.

His former Reds teammate Danny Murphy suggested Rice would be a top signing for Liverpool, but Hamann thinks Joelinton would be a more “adventurous” acquisition.

“Liverpool are 14 or 15 points behind the top of the table now and I don’t think that one player makes up that many points,” Hamann told BoyleSports.

“Danny Murphy is right to suggest Declan Rice is a very capable player but I think it depends on how Fabinho comes back into the season because he’s been really disappointing but he’s a really brilliant player.

“I would like Liverpool to sign someone a bit more adventurous, someone like Joelinton from Newcastle who has a physical presence, can get you a goal and he has the full package

“A player like him would suit Liverpool down to the ground.”

Hamann added: “I think getting a player of his quality in January is near enough impossible and that should’ve been done in the summer.”

Joelinton has been bloody brilliant for Newcastle since Eddie Howe replaced Steve Bruce last year.

The Brazilian struggled in England after joining for a club-record £40m fee.

He played as a striker for the majority of his Magpies career before Howe realised the former Hoffenheim man is a brilliant box-to-box midfielder.

The ex-Bournemouth boss first used Joelinton in midfield after Ciaran Clark was sent off against Norwich City in a Premier League match.

Joelinton slipped into a midfield role and Howe has not looked back.

The 26-year-old scored his first goal of the season during Saturday’s 4-0 win against Aston Villa.

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