Jurgen Klopp has reportedly had a “private call” with Napoli midfielder Eljif Elmas as he is trying to tempt him into signing for Liverpool.
Liverpool supporters have been treated to a late Christmas present as Elmas is a new name that can be added to their bingo card of supposed midfield targets.
The Reds are expected to be busy in the transfer market over the next few months as their midfield is in need of a freshen-up.
The club’s centre-midfield is arguably their weak point and a few of their players in that position are in decline.
Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are both out of contract next year and it is expected that they will move on. James Milner’s deal is also up in 2023 but he will likely stay on for another season.
Elmas is capable of playing on the left flank but he is at his best when he’s operated through the middle.
The 23-year-old has been an important player for Napoli over the past few seasons but he has only been used sparingly this term.
He came off the bench late on as Napoli beat Liverpool 4-1 in the Champions League group stages and he has only started four times in Serie A.
His contract is not due to expire until 2025 but transfermarkt value him at €23m.
Stanislav Lobotka, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Piotr Zielinski have instead been preferred in midfield and if reports are to be believed, Liverpool have seen Elmas’ fall down the pecking order as a potential transfer opportunity.
Turkish journalist Ahmet Ercanlar is reporting that Klopp has “privately called” Elmas and informed him that he “wants him at Liverpool”.
Elmas signed for Napoli from Fenerbache and it is noted that the latter would “get a share” of the transfer fee should the deal go through.
This could tempt Napoli to drive their asking price up so they benefit more from the transfer.
They are also aware that Liverpool need one or two new midfielders so the Premier League side will ultimately have to pay more than market value to secure their targets.
Liverpool may indeed have their eye on Elmas but if they do, he will only be a backup target as they are focusing on signing Jude Bellingham.
Klopp admitted that the Dortmund star is “exceptional” earlier this week but Real Madrid and Man City are also interested in him.
Bellingham could send up costing around £130m next summer as Dortmund may benefit from a bidding war.
Liverpool are also said to be monitoring Enzo Fernandez and Sofyan Amrabat after their brilliant performances at the World Cup.
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