Liverpool plot double LaLiga raid beginning with old Klopp flame in January; Arsenal target to follow

Atletico Madrid midfielder Marcos Llorente Credit: Alamy
Atletico Madrid midfielder Marcos Llorente Credit: Alamy

Liverpool are interested in a double raid on LaLiga in 2023, beginning with an ideal midfield upgrade in January and an Arsenal and Aston Villa-linked forward in the summer, per reports.

The Reds enter the World Cup break with a sense they may yet rescue an ailing season. Liverpool won their last two league matches including a narrow 2-1 win away at Tottenham. They also survived a penalty shoot-out against Derby County in the EFL Cup third round to keep their hopes of retaining that trophy alive.

Liverpool still have plenty of work to do to qualify for next season’s Champions League. Indeed, they sit seven points behind fourth-placed Spurs at present.

However, there is a sense the corner may finally have been turned, especially with Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez finding the net with regularity in October and November.

Furthermore, the vast bulk of their injured stars will return after proceedings in Qatar are wrapped up. Influential figures Joel Matip, Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota will all welcome the six-week break amid their ongoing recoveries.

Another boost to Jurgen Klopp could come in the form of January reinforcements.

Midfield is widely acknowledged to be the area of greatest need, and their primary target is Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham.

The England ace is unlikely to be available until the summer, meaning lesser profile targets could be the order of the day in the winter window.

One such option, per the Spanish press, is Atletico Madrid’s Marcos Llorente.

Liverpool can capitalise on Atletico slump

The 27-year-old Spain international could be a mid-season casualty of Atletico’s dismal season. Diego Simeone’s side will be hit in the pocket after failing to make it out of their Champions League group.

The Spanish outlet in question claim a January sale for one of their highest profile stars will be required to balance the books. That opens the door for Liverpool to sign Llorente who is reportedly one of Klopp’s ‘old wishes’.

Llorente will command a fee of around €40m (approx. £35m) and Liverpool are stated to be willing to table an offer of that size.

Atletico will be hesitant to part ways with the former Real Madrid star, though their finances could necessitate a reluctant sale.

Second raid could thwart Arsenal, Aston Villa

A second report from the same Spanish source also puts Liverpool in the frame to sign Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze.

The 23-year-old Nigerian winger operates primarily on the right, though is capable of playing all across the front line.

He’d likely provide back-up to Liverpool’s strongest starting front three (when fit) of Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah. However, at a cost of around €50m (approx. £44m), he’s likely to get his fair share of minutes if signed.

Liverpool showed how vital strength in depth was last season when going deep on four fronts. Salah, Diaz, Jota, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino all interchanged down the stretch to ensure injuries and fatigue were kept at bay.

A recent report from Football London actually claimed Chukwueze’s price tag is the lower figure of €40m (approx. £35m). Either way, the explosive right winger won’t come cheap.

A deal next summer is deemed most likely, though Liverpool are by no means the only suitor.

Arsenal have been linked in case their Mykhaylo Mudryk aspirations fall flat. An eye-catching new asking price could see their hopes torpedoed.

Elsewhere, Aston Villa are an obvious contender for Chukwueze given the Unai Emery link. Emery managed Villarreal prior to taking the reins at Villa.

The Spanish report also puts Everton and West Ham in the mix.

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