Dutch midfielder Teun Koopmeiners is on the verge of a switch to Serie A side Atalanta in a deal that Liverpool may live to regret allowing.
Tuttomercato report that the Italian side are set to seal a €20m (£18m) swoop for the 23-year-old in the coming days.
He will be paid a salary of €1.5m per/year for five years.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was said to be a big admirer of Koopmeiners but has seemingly decided against signing him this summer.
Liverpool are yet to replace Koopmeiners’ international teammate Georginio Wijnaldum, who is joining PSG.
The Reds will surely sign a midfielder this summer. Wijnaldum played the fifth-most minutes out of everyone in the squad last season.
It would be crazy to not sign a replacement, and they have let what may have been the ideal pick slip away for a bargain fee.
Liverpool may regret letting Koopmeiners join Atalanta
Koopmeiners is coming off the back of an outstanding season at AZ Alkmaar.
He scored 15 goals and assisted five more in the Eredivisie. This was despite spending a lot of his time as a holding midfielder.
Admittedly, seven of these were penalties. But eight goals from open play and free-kicks is still an excellent return.
He creates lots of chances while still managing to be excellent at retaining possession.
While his tackle and dribbling numbers aren’t outstanding, they are certainly competent.
The more we look into Koopmeiners’ qualities, the more baffling it is that Liverpool didn’t make a move for him.
Koopmeiners is a natural No 8, but can also play as a No 6 or even at centre-back. This versatility would have made him perfect to replace the similar Wijnaldum.
At 23-years-old, Koopmeiners has lots of improving still to do.
Despite his young age, he is already AZ’s captain. This leadership quality is something else that Jurgen Klopp loves.
£18m for a player that is as good as he is and as young as he is is an absolute steal. It is the astute business that we have become accustomed to with Atalanta.
It seems obvious that he will not be in Bergamo for all that long, as Koopmeiners will inevitably making the next step in the next few years.
Perhaps that next step will be to Anfield.