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Report: Liverpool-linked defender Nikola Maksimovic available for £9m

According to reports in Italy, Napoli defender Nikola Maksimovic has been listed on the transfer market for just £9 million. Liverpool have previously been mooted with an interest in the Serbian international.

This comes from Il Mattino. They say Maksimovic is free to leave the Serie A outfit for £9m with Fulham and West Ham also linked with a move.

Indeed, Napoli are reluctant to sell during the halfway mark of the 2020/21 campaign, especially with manager Gennaro Gattuso intent on ensuring the club’s return to the Champions League next season.

The 29-year-old defender has become an integral asset to Gattuso in recent weeks, too. He has started six of Napoli’s previous Italian top-flight matches this season, after all.

Still, with Maksimovic’s contract due to expire in July, Napoli may want to avoid losing the player for nothing in just a few months time.

According to Gazzetta Dello Sport, the 2019 Serie A runners-up have failed to meet Maksimovic’s wage demands of £35,000-a-week, which has fueled speculation that he could leave this month.

Sky Sports reported earlier this month that Jurgen Klopp had expressed an interest in landing the commanding experienced centre-back.

Raphinha, Coutinho and Tielemans: The signings Liverpool could make this summer

Maksimovic, who has also represented Torino and Red Star Belgrade, is available on the cheap with Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis determined to secure a fee.

Maksimovic’s former manager, Carlo Ancelotti, previously lauded the 2020 Coppa Italia-winning star as an ‘excellent defender‘ during the Everton boss’ 18-month spell at the Stadio San Paulo.

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What RTK has to say

With more than 100 appearences in Serie A, Maksimovic would certainly represent a viable quick-fix to aid Liverpool’s defensive shortcomings this season.

Unfortunately, Klopp expects a quiet end to the transfer window with the Reds unlikely to make any signings.

This comes from Neil Jones of Goal. He says that Liverpool are still counting the costs of the ongoing global pandemic and unwilling to gamble financially on a short-term addition.

This puts added pressure on Joel Matip to remain durable, then, until the end of the season. He is Liverpool’s only recognised senior option at centre back, after all.

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