Liverpool will look to sign Barcelona players Ousmane Dembélé and Jasper Cillessen for a combined £150m fee, with Jurgen Klopp keen to convince the pair on his fast-growing Liverpool project.
This is at least according to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, who have reported that Klopp has made Dembélé aware of his interest in bringing him to Anfield.
However, there are plenty of complications that could prevent a deal from happening – the Frenchman wants a guarantee on game time.
Following a season hampered with a thigh injury that saw him out of action for months, Dembélé struggled to make a real impact at Camp Nou despite his £135m price tag.
The 21-year-old made just 17 appearances in La Liga, with the majority of these in the second half of the season – Dembélé scored three times and assisted seven during this time.
This is part of the reason that this rumour has come about, an unconvincing first season in Spain was bound to create speculation of a move away – but given that Barca shelled out £135m for him, I highly doubt they’ll be willing to give up on Dembélé just yet.
What has to be factored in is the lure of Jurgen Klopp as a coach and his Liverpool team who are on the cusp of greatness.
According to Mundo, Klopp is willing to use his personal touch to try and convince Ousmane to move to Merseyside – which includes speaking to his mother, whom Dembélé remains very close with.
The lure of Klopp as a manager has been evident since he arrived, Van Dijk and Oxlade-Chamberlain turned down Manchester City and Chelsea to join the Klopp revolution, while more recently, Fabinho shunned Manchester United and was quick to put pen-to-paper on a contract at Liverpool.
As for Cillessen, the evidence of any deal is much less convincing – given that Liverpool are linked to every goalkeeper under the sun due to recent events that we won’t mention.
What is exciting is that the more of these rumours that surface, the more clear Klopp’s intentions of signing a goalkeeper become. However, this may become problematic given the quoted prices – everyone knows Liverpool need a goalkeeper, so Roma’s Alisson and Atletico Madrid’s Oblak instantly become bank breakers.
The clubs will drive up the price of their keepers, feeding off Liverpool’s desperation to improve the weakest position in the side. With Cillessen now added to this list, it would provide a cheaper option to the elite tier of Europe’s keepers, but when you look at the value – Liverpool may need to make that push for the best should they challenge for the Premier League next season.
While Liverpool are yet to win a trophy under the charismatic German, next season is lining up to be the final push, the grandstand finish if you will – it’s the season where we will truly be able to judge Liverpool’s progress and it might well show us the finished article.
Klopp is keen to bring in attacking options, while Liverpool got off lightly with no serious injuries to their front three last season, they can’t risk another season with no back up.