Liverpool have a lot of reported transfer targets for 2021. They won’t be getting all of them, however – they may get none.
Usually, Liverpool sign players who are a little under the radar. There wasn’t much competition for Mohamed Salah, nor Sadio Mane.
The Reds faced some for Virgil van Dijk, of course, but only they were willing to break a record to sign him. Alisson, too, was similar.
Fabinho came out of nowhere – there wasn’t some great race to get him.
This is how Liverpool built their winning team. They found players they were willing to take a chance on when others wouldn’t.
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Well, we might be saying good bye to that plan. This will be the first transfer window in a long time (ever?) where Liverpool won’t get all of their targets.
Shopping at the top
Liverpool reportedly want Kylian Mbappe, per ESPN. They’ll face a fight, though, as Real Madrid are also desperate to secure him.
The Reds would also like to sign Dayot Upamecano, say Bild. They’ll face a fight, though, as Bayern Munich and Chelsea really want the player.
Ibrahima Konate is a Liverpool target, say the Independent. They’ll face a fight, though, as Manchester United have him as their no.1 target.
Eurosport claim Liverpool are in the race for Erling Haaland. They’ll face a fight, though, as every club in the world seems to want him.
We could actually go on for a while here but the point should be clear by now – everyone is desperate to sign the top players.
Thus if these are Liverpool’s top targets, they’ll need to work on the idea that they might not get any of them. Zero. They’ve never had to deal with that before.
But we can easily see situations where Mbappe picks Real. We can see Upamecano taking the safe option of being Bayern’s chief defender.
United can offer Konate a place as their best defender, too – Liverpool can’t.
Then there’s Haaland. He could end up anywhere or nowhere.
We’ve already seen the problem, in fact. ESPN say Liverpool wanted David Alaba but Real offered £400k-a-week wages. How do you reasonably compete with that? It’s ridiculous.
But it’s common. Outside of Bayern signing Upamecano, none of Liverpool’s rivals necessarily make sense.
Will Mbappe adequately replace Sergio Ramos this summer? Well, probably not. Will a 21-year-old Konate with a history of injury problems fix United? It’s not the smartest transfer.
But big clubs don’t necessarily make smart moves – they usually make exciting ones first and foremost. Liverpool, with their sensible signings, are entering a different world of transfers.
And it may be that none of these targets end up at Liverpool in 2021.