Reports link Liverpool with dual moves for Samuel Chukwueze and Ruben Dias this summer. In doing so, they highlight how tough transfers will be.
France Football reported on Monday that Liverpool actually bid for Chukwueze. They say Villarreal rejected things, though, and that the Spaniards want £54m for the 20-year-old.
Then on Tuesday, the Daily Express claimed that Liverpool were one of three clubs looking at Dias. Along with Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, the Reds have an £80m release clause to consider.
We wrote on Monday how Liverpool should reconsider their interest in Chukwueze, though. And in truth, they should move on beyond Dias, too.
Neither fit the bill – let alone for a combined £134m outlay. And that’s why things are tricky because both are very good players.
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The Liverpool of a few years ago would have jumped at the chance to sign players like this. Now, however, the squad is in a place where only very particular players will fit.
Chukwueze, for instance, is African and can’t offer cover over the Africa Cup of Nations. He might tick every other box – young, quick, wide player, can score goals – but he misses out on one key criterion.
Whereas with Dias, Liverpool just don’t need a young centre-half right now. Joe Gomez fills that role and Virgil van Dijk certainly isn’t moving. A Dias/Gomez partnership sounds sensational but Dias is hardly going to move to Anfield and wait for Van Dijk to step aside. The timing is just all wrong.
It’s though. Very tough. Both Chukwueze and Dias are fine players and just don’t fit the bill. It leaves Liverpool with two options.
They can move on from the two of them and have faith that they will find the right players. It’s a real gamble, though, as those players might literally not exist. Or at least, not for a price Liverpool would pay.
Alternatively, they can sign these players who don’t quite tick every box, make compromises and believe in their ability to work around them.
Neither option is perfect, of course. But that’s because this will be a difficult summer.