A report in Italy claims Liverpool have an interest in Lazio forward Ciro Immobile.
Il Messaggero make the claim, saying that Liverpool will send scouts to watch Immobile against Napoli this weekend.
They also name Chelsea as a rival for his signature, despite Maurizio Sarri once passing on the forward.
But how likely is a Liverpool move?
Who is Ciro Immobile?
Immobile has been one of the two outstanding forwards in Italy over the last three years, alongside Mauro Icardi.
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The Italian has managed 62 goals in two-and-a-half years with Lazio, finishing as Capocannoniere last season. Those seasons came after two moves outside Italy, with the first very significant.
Immobile was the top scorer in Italy for 2014 whilst playing with Torino. That earned him a move to Borussia Dortmund, then managed by Jurgen Klopp.
The move was a disaster, however. Immobile managed just three Bundesliga goals as Dortmund finished seventh, having rallied from being 18th after 19 games.
From there he moved to Sevilla on loan for six months, although he was still unable to recapture his form. Six months back at Torino was also unsuccessful before he signed for Lazio in 2016.
Do Liverpool need Ciro Immobile?
Yes and no, in all honesty. Dominic Solanke’s exit will likely be followed by Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi’s in the summer. Liverpool will be short of striking options if that does happen and they may need to invest.
They don’t need a first-choice number nine, however, and Immobile certainly is that. Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino are both world-class options up top and any new signing would have to deal with that.
A 28-year-old who isn’t particularly versatile isn’t ideal, as talented as he is. There’s also the worry that he can’t perform outside of Serie A – of which there’s strong evidence.
It has already been demonstrated that Klopp struggles to get the best out of Immobile.
How likely is it?
It doesn’t feel very likely for a few reasons.
Italian sources aren’t the most reliable at the best of times but this transfer also wouldn’t make much sense.
Klopp has already failed with Immobile, for one thing, while Liverpool have only bought one player over 26 in the last four years – Ragnar Klavan.
It would be uncharacteristic of Liverpool to break that mold for a player who is surrounded by so many doubts.
We can’t quite see this one happening.