Liverpool may have a clear pathway to sign Frenkie De Jong, with Barcelona having reportedly agreed a transfer for his replacement.
Franck Kessie is into the final months of his contract at AC Milan, without an extension having been agreed. The Ivorian midfielder has been a target for Liverpool, too, as well as the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United in recent months and years.
But according to the Sun (opens in new tab), Kessie is set to add some bite to Xavi's midfield at Barca, with the Blaugrana legend apparently wanting to add a little more physicality to what is a lightweight midfield at current.
That leaves De Jong in a sticky situation. The Dutchman has failed to live up to the promise that he showed during Ajax's daring dash to the Champions League semi-finals in 2019 and in his three years in Catalonia, has struggled to find a permanent home in the Barca side under successive coaches.
Liverpool, however, would welcome the opportunity to snatch the midfielder away from a club who have managed to tempt Javier Mascherano, Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho all away from Anfield. De Jong would slot into either midfield role to the left or right of Fabinho, with his passing, press resistance and positional awareness all shrewd enough to become a hit with Jurgen Klopp.
The Reds have struggled a little in the midfield department, too, ever since De Jong's international teammate Gini Wijnaldum left for Paris Saint-Germain – incidentally turning down a move to the Camp Nou.
Thiago Alcantara has often found himself on the treatment table with the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, while Harvey Elliott is still a teenager – and has already suffered a horrific leg break this season. Naby Keita has impressed in spells, while captain Jordan Henderson is now in his 30s.
De Jong is valued by Transfermarkt (opens in new tab) to be worth £63m.
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Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. Over his time on the brand, he has interviewed the likes of Aaron Ramsdale and Jack Wilshere, written pieces ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career, and has been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals, working for FFT.
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