Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp is reportedly looking to bolster his midfield options this summer, as established players James Milner, Naby Keïta, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are expected to leave Anfield. While the Reds are expected to make a move for top target Jude Bellingham, they may also be eyeing a cut-price solution in Juventus star Manuel Locatelli.
The 25-year-old midfielder, who has played 23 times for Max Allegri’s side this season, is valued at $32m (£27m/€30m) and could be a bargain for Klopp. According to metrics website FBref, Locatelli is the most similar midfielder to Brighton’s Moisés Caicedo in Europe’s top five leagues over the past year.
Liverpool’s budget may be stretched thin if they land Bellingham, which is expected to cost as much as $158m (£132m/€150m). As a result, the links with Locatelli make sense, especially given the Italian’s elite-level experience and relatively low valuation.
Locatelli, who is presently on loan at Juventus from Sassuolo, has made 195 appearances in top-flight football. He was also a part of the Italian national team that won the Euro 2020 championship, with Roberto Mancini serving as the team’s manager.
Whether Liverpool will make a move for Locatelli remains to be seen, but the midfielder’s experience and potential could make him an ideal addition to Klopp’s squad. The Reds are sixth in the Premier League, five points behind Chelsea in fourth place.
On March 10th, Liverpool is set to compete against RB Leipzig in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 matches. Following their initial matchup, the Reds currently hold a 2-0 aggregate lead. Klopp will hope his side can maintain their lead and progress to the competition’s quarter-finals.