Liverpool transfers: Reds will have to pay record-breaking fee for 'special' defender - Romano
Photo by Ulrik Pedersen/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Liverpool transfers: Reds will have to pay record-breaking fee for 'special' defender - Romano

Liverpool are very interested in signing Josko Gvardiol this summer, but may have to pay a world record fee to do so.

That’s according to journalist Fabrizio Romano. Speaking on his YouTube channel today, Romano gave an update on the RB Leipzig centre-back’s future.

“Keep an eye on defensive players – keep an eye also on Josko Gvardiol because many top clubs are monitoring him,” said the transfer expert. “Chelsea wanted him last summer, also Manchester City and Liverpool are monitoring the player. There’s a lot of interest, but nothing will be decided in February, March – it will take time.”

Romano went on to say that any club hoping to sign the 22-year-old will have to pay more than the £80m Manchester United spent on Harry Maguire in 2019.

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“We know that Leipzig want to make Gvardiol the most expensive centre-back ever,” he said. “This is a crucial point in the story.

“Many clubs are keeping an eye on him. Liverpool have also sent their scouts to follow the player multiple times in the last months. So, keep an eye on this situation.”

Liverpool leave themselves too much to do

If last night’s mauling by Real Madrid taught us anything, it’s that Liverpool’s defence is in need of an upgrade.

With so much focus on their midfield issues, the defence had been getting away with things a little. But the recent injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate have laid the problems bare.

Konate has become a little too injury-prone, while Van Dijk no longer looks like the world-beater he has been for so long. Meanwhile Joel Matip and Joe Gomez seem to have regressed beyond the point of return.

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As a result, a new centre-back now has to be a priority for Jurgen Klopp. There are a number of good options out there to fill that role, but Gvardiol would appear to be the critics choice.

After a brilliant World Cup in which he was deemed ‘special’ by Paul Merson, the Croatia international is now much-coveted. And as fate would have it, he’s a self-confessed Liverpool fan. This should give the Reds a slight edge in any negotiations.

What will hamper them though, is the price-tag. Obviously. It seems impossible that Liverpool will be able to do both Gvardiol and Jude Bellingham in the same window. If Bellingham alone could fix the midfield issues, maybe that would be different. But he can’t – Klopp needs two more signings in the middle of the pitch.

Good luck fitting an £80m+ centre-back in with all that lot. Liverpool have left themselves with way, way, way too much to do. They’ll have to stump up at some point though, so let’s see.

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