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Liverpool back in contention for Euro 2020 winner

Last Updated on by James King

It has been a relatively quiet transfer window for Liverpool so far, having only brought in Ibrahima Konate, the gifted centre-back from RB Leipzig for £36 million.

However, there appear to be persisting rumours regarding a replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum, who moved to PSG on a free transfer at the beginning of the transfer window.

Liverpool back in contention for Euro 2020 winner

It was thought that manager Jurgen Klopp was happy with his squad, though they do appear light in the centre of the pitch, especially with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain recently being linked with a move to West Ham United.

If this were to materialise, it would leave them considerably short, with only Fabinho, Naby Keita, captain Jordan Henderson, last season’s signing Thiago Alcantara and veteran midfielder James Milner who turns 36 in January. While they also have 20-year-old Curtis Jones as an option there, it is thought that more quality experience is needed.

This has led to reports that the club is exploring bringing in-demand Italian midfielder Manuel Locatelli to Anfield, who shone for Italy at Euro 2020, helping them win the tournament.

The news comes as, chief suitors Juventus have pulled out of the race with manager Massimiliano Allegri effectively distancing the club from the Sassuolo player. It effectively leaves the door open for the Reds if they decide to make the move, with Arsenal also believed to be interested.

 

Italians cursed at Liverpool?

The last Italian midfielder to play for Liverpool was Alberto Aquillani, in a move that did not work out, while fellow Italian, Mario Balotelli also endured an unsuccessful spell at Anfield. It begs the question, whether a move for Locatelli would be the right thing for all involved given the Reds’ history.

In general, the Premier League is not really a natural habitat for Italian players, with Balotelli arguably being the last to enjoy success, with Manchester City effectively. It could be argued that Jorginho at Chelsea is finally coming into his own under Thomas Tuchel; however, not since the days of Gianfranco Zola, Paolo Di Canio and Benito Carbone have Italian players really lit up the Premier League.

There is no doubt, though, that Locatelli can give Liverpool a lift. Comfortable as a box-to-box midfielder and an attacking playmaker or even able to slide into a defensive role, Locatelli could definitely form a highly effective combination with the talent that is already there.

It could well, though take a fee in the region of the £35 million mark if the player makes a move this summer and following success with Italy, may just think that Liverpool could provide him with the ideal platform to win silverware at club level.