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If Liverpool’s £35,000-per week Midfielder Leaves In Summer, Here Are 3 Alternatives

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There could be another reshuffling of the midfield at Liverpool in the summer as German midfielder Emre Can is reportedly on the way out of Anfield.

The 23-year old will enter the last year of his current £35,000-per week contract and has been embroiled in negotiations over a new deal for a good part of the season. However, he hasn’t managed to agree on terms, with the club playing hardball over his salary demands. Supposedly, Can is demanding that Liverpool double his current wages as a part of the new contract, which the Reds aren’t willing to match.

Manager Jurgen Klopp is a huge admirer of the former Bayern Munich man but is yet to be fully convinced of his abilities and as a result the club aren’t willing to pay over the odds to a player who has failed to establish himself as an undisputed first-team member.

Given Emre’s quality, these developments would have put several clubs across Europe on high alert. With the club and the player still a far cry from agreeing on a new deal, there may very well be temptations within the German international to consider a move in the summer. If  Can departs from the Merseyside in the upcoming transfer window, here are three replacements who Klopp and Liverpool can target:

Naby Keita

The 22-year old midfielder has been the driving force behind newly promoted RB Leipzig’s rise to the second position in the German Bundesliga standings and has been linked with a move to Liverpool.

Keita joined Leipzig in the summer last year from sister club RB Salzburg in Austria and has become the beating heart of the team in the middle of the park. The Guinea international in total has played 22 times for the Bundesliga high-fliers this season across all competitions netting four goals and chalking up eight assists against his name.

The versatile midfielder who can operate as an attacking midfielder or as a more traditional central midfielder has been used by manager Ralph Hassenhuttl in a defensive midfield role, where he has excelled tremendously. Keita has the pace and skill to carry the ball forward from deep midfield and he possesses the range of passing that would help him control the pace of the game. Along with that, he has also demonstrated good defensive nous. Given the way Leipzig play, he will be at home in Klopp’s style of play.

Nabi Keita will fit in well at Liverpool.
Naby Keita will fit in well at Liverpool.

Leandro Paredes

The 22-year old AS Roma midfielder was linked with a £26.5 million deadline day move to Liverpool earlier in the January transfer window, but nothing materialised on that front. If Can does leave in the summer, expect Klopp to renew his interest in the Argentine midfielder.

Paredes has notched up an impressive 32 appearances this season for the Giallorossi, scoring three goals in the process. In a midfield that has the likes of Radja Nainggolan, Kevin Strootman and Daniele De Rossi, the 22-year old has been very impressive this term.

A defensive midfielder by trade, Paredes possesses an expansive range of passing and is surgically precise with his distribution, possessing an excellent 89% pass success rate in the Serie A. An astute tackler and a strong header of the ball, the Argentine footballer will bring great defensive stability to the Liverpool side, along with his ability to unleash some brilliant defence-splitting through balls from the deeper positions. Paredes has the ability to control the game and orchestrate attacks from deep and could prove to be a fine addition to the Liverpool side.

Parades is another option who Klopp can target.
Parades is another option who Klopp can target.

Tiemoue Bakayoko

Another 22-year old midfielder, the Monaco star has been linked with a move to Premier League side Chelsea, after the player rejected a new contract offer from the Principality club. But Liverpool could reap great benefits if they manage to get their hands on the Frenchman.

An all-action midfielder, Bakayoko is a force to be reckoned with in the middle of the park. Playing in a defensive midfield role alongside Fabinho, the Frenchman has grown leaps and bounds this season and has been at the centre of Monaco’s brilliant season that sees them at the top of Ligue1. In 38 appearances across all competitions, the 22-year old has managed two goals and one assist so far.

Bakayoko is adept at playing further high up the pitch with his impressive range of passing and dribbling abilities. But he has excelled in the deepest midfield position this season for the French outfit, displaying great awareness and reading of the game. A no-nonsense tackler and a force in the air, he will add the much-needed physical presence in the middle of the park for the Reds and could turn out to be a brilliant signing.

Bakayoko has been brilliant for Monaco this season.
Bakayoko has been brilliant for Monaco this season.