Liverpool have devised a plan to reinvest the money from Phillipe Coutinho’s move to Barcelona into a world-class goalkeeper and an attacking midfielder of a similar quality, according to Don Balon.
Coutinho moved to Camp Nou for a record fee of £142 million after a prolonged chase by the Catalans. Jurgen Klopp would surely feel a bit down by losing his star man mid-way through the season, but he seems to be taking steps to keep the Reds in the battle for a Top Four position this campaign.
The one area that is in glaring need for reinforcements is the defence. And with the £75-million addition of Virgil Van Dijk a big chunk of that problem has been solved. But now Klopp is also reportedly set to replace under-performing Simon Mignolet with Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak.
The Slovenian goalkeeper has gone from strength to strength since joining the Spanish outfit from Benfica in 2014 and is currently one of the most wanted footballers in Europe. The problem is his price tag – his release clause is set at about £100 million – and the fact that there is strong interest from Paris Saint-Germaint which Atletico could leverage to boost their asking price.
The Reds are known for being among the toughest on the negotiation front, however, and might come out on top in the end. In the event they don’t, reports suggest that they had already made back-up plans to sign Stoke City’s Jack Butland who would come much cheaper than Oblak.
Another area Klopp is looking to address is the hole left by the immediate departure of Coutinho. Mikael McKenzie of the Daily Express writes that Liverpool are close to signing Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez for £46 million.
Mahrez has bagged eight goals in 26 outings this campaign and has been linked with a move away from Leicester since their title-winning season in 2016.