9 players who Liverpool could realistically sign this summer

Liverpool

1. Jorge Mere (Sporting Gijon)

So, Virgil van Dijk’s off the table. Probably. Still, there’s plenty more fish in the sea as far as talented centre-backs are concerned - and Mere should be towards the top of Liverpool’s wishlist.

Sporting were relegated to the second tier of Spanish football last year, but the 20-year-old defender can hardly be blamed for that. A touch on the small side at 6ft, Mere is nevertheless aggressive while also an intelligent reader of the game, attributes which would make him a sound addition to the Liverpool ranks.

2. Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon)

Opta Fact

Only Edinson Cavani (35) scored more goals than Alexandre Lacazette (28) in Ligue 1 last season

Every year there seems to be a transfer story which dominates the summer, and Lacazette’s impending exit from Lyon could turn into the 2017 edition. Atletico Madrid were thought to be leading the race for his signature before their transfer ban was upheld, with Arsenal, Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund now among the contenders to land a player who’s scored 20+ Ligue 1 goals in each of the last three seasons.

Liverpool have also been mentioned in relation to the France international, who would certainly be a good fit for Jurgen Klopp’s style of play at Anfield. Lacazette likes to drift across the final third and is a skilled runner of the channels, as well as someone who is both willing and able to press from the front.

3. Gael Clichy (Manchester City)

James Milner did an admirable job of filling in at left-back last season, but there’s no getting away from the fact that he’s simply not a natural in that position. Clichy would by no means be a long-term solution to Liverpool’s longstanding problem, but he’s available on a free and would certainly do a job for a season or two.

The 31-year-old ex-Arsenal man possesses bags of experience and knows what it’s like to play in the Champions League, having made 81 appearances in the competition throughout his career.

4. Quincy Promes (Spartak Moscow)

The 2016/17 campaign was a glorious one for Spartak Moscow, who ended 16 years of hurt by finishing on top of the pile in the Russian Premier League. Promes, perhaps more than any other player, was integral to the capital club’s achievements, scoring 12 goals, providing nine assists and delivering many more superb displays in a number of different positions.

Indeed, the Dutch international operated on both flanks and as a central striker last term, thriving in all three roles as Spartak beat CSKA Moscow and Zenit Saint Petersburg to the championship crown. Quick, tricky and comfortable playing off either foot, he’s exactly the type of player Klopp should be targeting as he seeks to add greater depth to his Liverpool squad.

5. Antonio Rudiger (Roma)

Recent reports suggest that German international Rudiger has been made available for transfer by Roma, who are looking for £34m in return for the centre-back. Inter, now bossed by ex-Giallorossi head coach Luciano Spalletti, appear to be in pole position to land him, but Liverpool’s offer of Champions League football could tip the balance in their favour.

Speedy, imposing and unflustered with the ball at his feet, Rudiger is the archetypal modern centre-back. He’s still just 24, too, which should make him even more appealing to both Klopp and the club’s hierarchy alike.

6. Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester)

Riyad Mahrez has already announced that he’s seeking an exit from the King Power Stadium this summer, and goalkeeper Schmeichel – who was comfortably Leicester’s Player of the Year in an up-and-down campaign last time out – could be close behind.

Neither Loris Karius nor Simon Mignolet did enough to convince in 2016/17, so Klopp may look to strengthen between the sticks in the coming weeks, even if he did declare himself “happy” with the Reds’ current crop earlier this year. The 30-year-old Schmeichel excelled in the Champions League last season and would almost certainly relish the chance to return to the competition with Liverpool, despite his father’s connections to arch rivals Manchester United.

7. Ruben Neves (Porto)

Neves seems to have been talked about as a transfer target for Premier League clubs for some time now, but the Porto man is still only 20 years of age. The midfielder is intelligent, technical and a terrific passer of the ball, while it’s also notable that he was handed the captain’s armband at his boyhood club while still only 18.

Neves’ allegiances to Porto could make it difficult for Liverpool to prise him away from the Estadio do Dragao at this moment in time, although the Portugal international wouldn’t be the first player to trade it all in for a move to a bigger league on a (most likely) bigger contract.

8. Joao Cancelo (Valencia)

Valencia have had a tough few seasons and it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if players like the 23-year-old Cancelo sought a way out during the current transfer window. It was widely suggested at the turn of the year that Barcelona had a deal in place to land the Portuguese right-back this summer, but it’s all gone a bit quiet on that front and Liverpool could steal in and take advantage.

While solid defensively, Nathaniel Clyne doesn’t offer a great deal going forward when compared to many other full-backs in the game today. Cancelo, conversely, isn’t lacking in the attacking department, so much so that he’s frequently been deployed higher up the pitch by Valencia.

9. Issa Diop (Toulouse)

Standing at 6ft 4in, the Toulouse man-mountain is a commanding figure in the heart of the backline

France’s glut of prodigious young attackers has been discussed at length, but there’s plenty of talent coming through in other positions too. Kurt Zouma, Samuel Umtiti and Presnel Kimpembe lead the way in the centre-back department, but 20-year-old Diop is another defender with a big future ahead of him. 

Standing at 6ft 4in, the Toulouse man-mountain is a commanding figure in the heart of the backline. Strong both in the air and in the tackle, he’s also an excellent passer from deep and would be comfortable in the high defensive line that Klopp encourages.

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