Liverpool are reportedly gearing up to shatter their transfer record in January by locking on to a midfielder who finds himself in high demand.
The Reds are up and running in the January window having agreed a deal with PSV for attacker Cody Gakpo. The Netherlands forward is likely to sign a deal to 2027 at Anfield, with Liverpool paying an initial £37m, rising to £44m.
The arrival of Gakpo offers Jurgen Klopp yet another option to call upon in attack. However, the main target of strengthening their midfield is not being forgotten about either.
To that end, Klopp and Co will put their entire focus on strengthening their midfield not just in January, but in the summer window too.
With Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain likely to leave as free agents at the end of their contracts, Liverpool do have vacancies to fill. There are also theories that James Milner is also in his final season at Anfield. The veteran star turns 37 next week and may be in his final months on Merseyside.
As such, Klopp is likely to be in the hunt for at least two new midfield additions this year.
Top of their wanted list is Jude Bellingham. The teenage star is rated highly and Liverpool’s hopes of a deal have improved amid claims of a lower-than-expected release clause in his deal.
However, any deal for Bellingham is likely to be on hold until the summer. And while Borussia Dortmund seemingly have a preference to sell to the Merseysiders, the Bundesliga side will not entertain his exit during the winter window.
Liverpool, though, cannot afford not to strengthen their midfield now.
Klopp sets sights on January midfield arrival for Liverpool
Indeed, with the race for the top four likely to go to the wire, Liverpool are looking to make up for a torrid start to the season.
And their chances of closing that gap may well be boosted should Klopp add to his midfield ranks in January.
One name Klopp is reportedly considering is Sofyan Amrabat, who enjoyed a starring role for Morocco at the World Cup.
Reports on Tuesday suggest a £35m approach to Fiorentina for Amrabat is in the works for the Reds.
However, Portuguese paper O Jogo believes Klopp has his eyes on another target with a huge offer for Enzo Fernandez in the works.
The Benfica star also enjoyed a stellar World Cup. Having won the Young Player of the Tournament, he also got his hands on the famous trophy as Argentina beat France in the final.
Having only moved to Benfica in the summer, though, he could be on the move again. But with a huge £105.8m (€120m) exit clause in his deal, his signing is unlikely to come cheap.
However, O Jogo reports that Liverpool are stepping up their plans to sign the 21-year-old and will shatter their transfer record to seal the deal.
Chelsea are also keen on Fernandez, though, and Wednesday’s Transfer Gossip suggests they too are preparing a mammoth bid.
Fabrizio Romano on Liverpool transfer plans
Trusted transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano, however, is adamant that Liverpool will look to sign a midfielder in January.
And while not naming Fernandez directly, he is adamant that Klopp is looking to sign two midfielders in 2023. That will then form what may be a dream new central axis at Anfield.
“Liverpool are exploring a move for a new midfielder,” he told Caught Offside. “Jude Bellingham is their top priority for the summer, as Borussia Dortmund don’t want to sell in January. Liverpool will try find a new midfielder in January.”
Whether that is Fernandez remains to be seen, though the midfielder himself has opened up on his future.
“I don’t know anything about [a transfer],” he told fans in his homeland. “It’s up to my agent. I am not planning to get involved. I’m focused on Benfica, in a few days we have an important game.”
READ MORE: Erik ten Hag responds after missing out to Liverpool over Cody Gakpo transfer
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