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Liverpool Transfer News: Lille Stand Firm as Klopp Chases Last Hurrah

Liverpool Transfer News: Lille Stand Firm as Klopp Chases Last Hurrah

Jurgen Klopp sent shockwaves through the entire Liverpool fanbase with the unexpected revelation of his departure at the end of the season.

However, he still has quite a few tasks to accomplish at the club. After a nine-year tenure, Klopp’s primary goal is to leave the Merseyside club in the right manner.

Not only does he aim to secure silverware for his team in his final days, but he is also diligently working to build a competitive squad for his successor.

And the first priority on Klopp’s list is addressing the team’s defense.

With Joel Matip facing a season-long injury and his contract set to expire at the end of the season, along with uncertainties surrounding Van Dijk’s future, Liverpool’s options in that defense are already a bit threadbare.

That is why Klopp has fixated his attention on acquiring ‘the new Raphael Varane’ – Leny Yoro.

Leny Yoro, 18, is one of European football’s most highly rated young defenders and is already a regular at the back for the French club – LOSC Lille. The teenager, who has represented France at the Under-21 level, has made 19 appearances so far this season, scoring twice.

But acquiring him could be easier said than done. Not only will Liverpool have to contend with other European giants like Real Madrid, Manchester United, and PSG, but securing the center back will also impose a burden on Liverpool’s financial budgets.

According to the French outlet Le10Sport, Liverpool will need to pay as much as €90m (£78m) to sign the Lille center back Leny Yoro this January. By the looks of it, the French club is not going to budge from that figure either. So, getting his signature is becoming unlikely this winter transfer window.

However, it is to be seen how that price tag would change in the summer when Yoro will have just one year left on his current deal. However, it is said that Liverpool is ‘ready to sign a nice cheque.’

Having said that, French club is insistent to keep Yoro for the time being and they are even hopeful of convincing the young defender to sign a contract extension on his current deal (which runs until 2025).

It remains to be seen how this transfer saga turns out, but Liverpool will be in no mood to let go of the opportunity to secure such a promising center-back with the potential to mark an era with the Merseyside club.

And kudos to Jurgen Klopp for scouting such promising talents time and again. Since his arrival, Klopp has consistently reinforced numerous influential players who have become pivotal parts of the club during their tenure — all while keeping spending to a minimum. In fact, Liverpool’s net spend since Klopp’s era is just £254m, considerably less than that of the big six Premier League clubs.

Whether it’s Sadio Mane in 2016, Mohamed Salah in 2017, or the £10 million acquisition of Andrew Robertson from Hull City in 2017, we can’t underestimate Klopp’s eye for undervalued talent.

Klopp also played a pivotal role in bringing in players like Joel Matip and Georginio Wijnaldum into the dressing room, who later became integral components of Klopp’s gegenpressing system. These are just a few names within the list.

But before Klopp leaves the club at the end of the season, he is in the race to secure another of his customary signings. His final gift to the club, if you will.

And the player in discussion is none other than the 22-year-old Real Sociedad forward – Takefusa Kubo.

You already know a player is special when he is tagged as the ‘Japanese Messi,’ and has been on Klopp’s radar to be Salah’s backup in the squad for the upcoming years to come.

The Real Sociedad winger has had an influential spell with the Spanish club, becoming their second-highest scorer this season. The 22-year-old has been in good form, scoring six goals and providing four assists in 25 appearances across all competitions.

His versatility and quick feet were bound to grab attention from footballing giants, and so it did, from several Saudi clubs, Manchester United, and Juventus.

As per Mundo Deportivo, the six-time European champions have shown interest in signing the ‘most natural replacement of Salah’ before the deadline.

The Japanese forward has a €60m (£51.2m) release clause that Liverpool could activate. It has been claimed that Kubo’s former club Real Madrid also has a 50% sell-on clause and a first-refusal clause.

But the real tricky part could be to reach an agreement with the player himself. MD reports that Kubo would rather stay at Anoeta than travel to London, both now and even in the summer transfer window.

But Liverpool has a secret trick up their sleeve in the name of Wataru Endō, who’s currently away at the Asian Cup. He could play the agent to convince his Japanese international teammate, Kubo, to consider the move.

Having said that, the possibility of a deal being done this week seems remote, especially with the forward away on international duty and uncertainty regarding Liverpool’s next manager. But by the looks of it, Liverpool will try again in the summer window. After all, he is one of Klopp’s final recommendations to the club; you simply don’t ignore it.