Photo by Alexandre Simoes/Borussia Dortmund/Getty Images

Haaland, Sancho or Upamecano? Assessing who should be a priority for Liverpool

The signing of Thiago Alcantara has seemingly changed the game in terms of Liverpool’s previously maintained transfer approach.

For years under the stewardship of FSG, Liverpool have resisted the urge to flex their muscles in the transfer market for some of the continent’s best players.

Liverpool luring Thiago from Bayern Munich last month was arguably the club’s biggest statement of intent in the transfer market this modern era.

The fact Liverpool were able to successfully secure the talents of one of the world’s best players for the peak years of his career from a European rival could represent a changing of the guard in terms of the club’s transfer approach in future years.

With that said, could there be another statement signing for Liverpool fans to swoon over this coming January or next summer? Jadon Sancho, Erling Haaland and Dayot Upamecano represent three of the club’s highest-profile recent targets.

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According to The Independent, Liverpool alongside Bayern represent are now seen as the most likely destinations for Borussia Dortmund’s Sancho next summer after Manchester United failed to secure his signing last summer.

Meanwhile, The ECHO claim that the Reds maintain an interest in Haaland while The Sunday World report that RB Leipzig are bracing themselves for a Liverpool bid to sign Upamecano in January.

But just how likely is it that Liverpool could strike a deal for any of the previously aforementioned trio?

DORTMUND, GERMANY – OCTOBER 28: Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund celebrates with teammates Thorgan Hazard and Erling Haaland after scoring his team’s first goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Champions League Group F stage match between Borussia Dortmund and Zenit St. Petersburg at Signal Iduna Park on October 28, 2020 in Dortmund, Germany. Sporting stadiums around Dortmund remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Lukas Schulze/Getty Images)

How to deal with Dortmund?

Liverpool have proven themselves, tough negotiators, in the past and the club will be up against a similarly formidable opponent when it comes to striking a deal for either Haaland or Sancho.

The Bundesliga outfit remained firm throughout the summer following one of the most dragged out transfer sagas of the previous window after Dortmund successfully maintained the services of Sancho.

Dortmund demanded £108 million for Sancho and stayed true to their word as Manchester United tried to haggle themselves to a cheaper alternative.

This is something Liverpool fans can respect given their meticulous ability to buy and sell players at their own accord. However, it does suggest that dealing with Dortmund could be a difficult proposition.

Selling for less than the price quoted would be an admission of failure from Dortmund so if Liverpool are serious next summer for either Sancho or Haaland, the club cannot afford to mess around with price.

Dortmund will be even more resistant to selling Haaland. The striker has a release clause which comes into effect in 2022.

The German outfit could sell next summer if a big bid substantially above £70 million came in.

There are alternatives Liverpool could look at such as paying for fees in instalments rather than an eye-watering up-front costs which they utilised to their advantage in both deals to land Thiago [£25 million] and Diogo Jota [£41 million].

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 28: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Dayot Upamecano of RB Leipzig and Mason Greenwood of Manchester United battle for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group H stage match between Manchester United and RB Leipzig at Old Trafford on October 28, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Vincent Mignott/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

What about Upamecano?

Liverpool’s transfer business in the past has heavily been based around key determining factors such as plausibility, necessity and cost.

With that said, no player could be deemed as ticking all the boxes as effectively as RB Leipzig’s Upamecano.

The 22-year-old central defender is among the best centre-backs in Europe and given Liverpool’s desperate need for defensive reinforcements, they should look no further than Upamecano.

According to SportBild, Upamecano has a release clause believed to be in the region of £36.5 million which comes into play this summer.

With that in mind, Liverpool would be wise to get such a deal done as early as possible and if that means paying a little more to get a deal done in January, then so be it.

Joe Gomez represents Liverpool’s only available senior centre back at this present moment and given the injury-record of Joel Matip, the Reds need someone through the door as soon as the transfer window officially opens on New Year’s day.

This deal should take greater precedence over any other targets given the number of defensive injury setbacks the club have had to overcome in recent weeks.

Liverpool have a good working relationship with Leipzig following the deal struck for Naby Keita. Hopefully, the Reds can make it two times the charm to get another vital deal over the line.

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