The January transfer window is typically mild compared to its summer counterpart, but this particular winter window has been rather active, especially for Liverpool.
Just before the new year, the club announced the long-awaited signing of Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk, and he was officially unveiled on New Year’s Day.
Just a few days later, star man Philippe Coutinho was sold to Barcelona for a club record deal worth £142 million. Losing Coutinho was always a blow, but it was clear that the player had his sights set on the Camp Nou. Since losing Coutinho, Jurgen Klopp and co. have reportedly attempted to lure several different potential replacements.
One name commonly linked with a move to Anfield has been Schalke midfielder Leon Goretzka. Goretzka has been tied in reports to Liverpool since the summer, though LFC are far from the only club interested in the talented 22-year-old.
Now, according to the Liverpool Echo, Liverpool have admitted defeat in their quest to bring Goretzka to England. The belief now is that the player will sign a pre-contract with Bayern within the next few days.
Goretzka hasn’t formally announced a decision one way or the other, but Bayern’s brass sounds optimistic that he’ll choose the Bundesliga league leaders. Bayern boss Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said, “You only have an agreement when the contract is signed and the player passed the medical tests. We are not that far yet. Now the player has to decide, I heard the decision will be made within the next days so before the end of January.”
“And of course it would be very nice if he decides to join Bayern Munich.”
While Barcelona are another high-profile club that has shown interest in Goretzka, it sure sounds as though he’ll be calling Allianz Arena home before too long. If you’re a betting man (some sites even let you place bets right from your mobile phone these days), betting on Goretzka landing anywhere other than Bayern at this stage would seem rather foolish.
Liverpool have also reportedly tried to coax RB Leipzig into letting midfielder Naby Keita join the Reds earlier than expected. It was announced over the summer that Keita would join the club on July 1, 2018, but with Coutinho gone, Klopp offered to pay an additional fee to bring the player over early. Leipzig were reportedly asking for too much, though, so that possibility is off the table now as well.
If their first performance without Coutinho was any indication, however, maybe Liverpool will be just fine without a replacement for the rest of the season. LFC became the first team in the Premier League to hand Manchester City a loss with a thrilling 4-3 triumph at Anfield over the weekend.
It remains to be seen whether Liverpool will stand pat with the squad they have, or if Klopp and the board have any other tricks up their sleeve.