Liverpool could ask Atletico Madrid’s Marcos Llorente to strengthen their midfield.
Despite Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara, James Milner, Naby Keita, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho as midfield options – not to mention loan Arthur Melo – Jurgen Klopp would like to strengthen the core of his side. Jude Bellingham is widely rumored as another target.
But now Llorente – who scored twice to defeat the Reds in the 2019/20 Champions League round of 16 – appears to be available, with Atletico in crisis.
The Spanish side were unceremoniously expelled from the Champions League without even a reprieve from Europa League football recently, finishing bottom of their group – and with Diego Simeone looking to offload players to stay competitive, Llorente could be sacrificed .
The Express (opens in a new tab) says Atletico will listen to offers for the Spain international, in whom Liverpool have a historic interest. A hugely disciplined athlete who can offer physicality, security in possession and versatility to play anywhere from midfield to right-back or even up front, Llorente could help Klopp breathe in some of the intensity that was missing their game lately.
According to Spanish radio SER padlock (opens in a new tab), Atletico have placed Joao Felix, Thomas Lemar, Rodrigo de Paul and Yannick Carrasco on the transfer list. Apparently the Colchoneros must also drop two stars in the January window.
Liverpool could, in that case, theoretically pursue a move for more than one misfit at Atletico – although Llorente remains the most sensible adjustment.
Liverpool may well be looking to complete as much January business as possible given their poor start to the season – but are likely to offload the midfielders themselves.
Llorente is valued at approximately €35m on transfer market (opens in a new tab).
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The Reds appear to be busy in January correcting the rocky start to this season. Two midfielders could join in January, with a huge eight likely to join in the next two windows. Son Heung-min has been linked, as has Benfica youngster Antonio Silva, while Youssoufa Moukoko also has admirers on Merseyside.
Meanwhile, Klopp hailed Mohamed Salah as “one of the best you’ve ever seen” and Anfield legend Robbie Fowler encouraged fans to back Trent Alexander-Arnold.