Liverpool transfer round-up: Gomez interest emerges, but Reds likely to resist
Plus: Salah stories persist, Matip linked with Ligue 1, and incomings remain a possibility before deadline day
The Saudi Arabia/Liverpool saga has a new and surprising cast member, judging by reports this week.
After Fabinho and Jordan Henderson, Luis Díaz and Alisson Becker and, of course, Mohamed Salah, we can now add Joe Gomez to the list of players attracting attention from the Middle East.
According to Fabrizio Romano, Al Ittihad, the Saudi Pro League club who have been pursuing Salah this summer, also have Gomez on a list of defensive targets, while further interest from West Ham United has also been reported.
Gomez, it is understood, is keen to play more regularly, having fallen down the pecking order at Anfield over the past 12 months. He came on as a substitute against Newcastle United on Sunday after Virgil van Dijk was sent off, but is effectively the Reds’ fourth-choice centre-back now, behind Van Dijk, Ibrahima Konaté and Joël Matip.
Still, Liverpool are likely to resist any offers which may emerge for the 26-year-old before Friday's transfer deadline. Gomez, if fit, will start Sunday’s game against Aston Villa, with Van Dijk suspended and Konaté nursing a muscle issue, and his ability to provide cover at right-back is important to Jürgen Klopp, who needs back-up for first-choice Trent Alexander-Arnold.
It remains to be seen if any official offers emerge, from Al Ittihad, from West Ham or elsewhere. Matip has also been linked with a move away recently, with Ligue 1 side Rennes credited with an interest, but given Liverpool’s current centre-back situation, it feels unlikely that the Reds would sell unless a significant signing was to be made.
Covering Liverpool is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a paid subscriber.
Salah stories persist, Reds stance unchanged
The situation regarding Salah’s future remains, for now at least, unchanged as far as Liverpool are concerned. ‘Not for sale’ is the message, with Klopp stating after the Newcastle game that, to him, the matter is closed.
But that hasn’t stopped the stories from persisting. The latest, from CBS, suggests that a $162m million (£129m) offer from Al Ittihad is imminent. Of that, Liverpool would be guaranteed $108m (£86m), with a further $54m (£43m) in bonuses, while Salah would be offered a contract comparable with the likes of Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Reds’ stance, however, remains firm, and sources insist there is no discussion to be had over the club’s star player. Salah proved his worth again up at St James’ Park on Sunday, he has two years remaining on his contract and his agent, Ramy Abbas Issa, dismissed the idea of a summer exit earlier this month.
Let’s hope that remains the case, though something tells me these won’t be the last reports we see on this matter over the next fortnight.
What about incomings?
In terms of potential signings, Liverpool remain very alive to possibilities before Friday’s deadline.
Ryan Gravenberch, in particular, is a name to keep an eye on. The Bayern Munich midfielder remains keen to move on in search of more regular football, and were there a deal to be done with the Bundesliga champions, who so far have been reluctant to sell, then Liverpool would certainly be interested.
A host of other names continue to be linked, including Crystal Palace’s Cheick Doucouré, Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz, Fiorentina’s Sofyan Amrabat and, more recently, Mats Wieffer of Feyenoord, but much will depend on price and availibility. Liverpool were willing to spend big to land Moisés Caicedo, and to a lesser extent Roméo Lavia, but their subsequent capture of Wataru Endo suggests that they have not completely abandoned their policy of seeking the right player at the right price.
Worth keeping an eye on this week are a host of younger players who could be in line for temporary moves. Liverpool are not actively pushing any of their talented U21 stars to leave, but expect offers to arrive for players before Friday.
These include Bobby Clark and Luke Chambers, two players who have been around the first-team squad over the past 12 months. Clark, whose progress is set to be rewarded with a new contract, has at least six Championship clubs interested, while Swansea City have made enquiries over Chambers, who has previously been linked with Bayer Leverkusen.
Tyler Morton, close to a return to full fitness after a foot injury, is also expected to go out, with the Championship again the likeliest destination. Hull City are keen. The 20-year-old, who impressed at Blackburn Rovers last season, also has suitors from overseas.
Jarell Quansah, who made his senior Reds debut at Newcastle, also has tons of Football League interest, but the feeling now is that the 20-year-old will be kept around by Liverpool as defensive cover.
Billy Koumetio is, according to L’Équipe, set to join Ligue 2 side USL Dunkerque, while Mateusz Musialowski is wanted by Austrian Bundesliga side TSV Hartberg, among others.