?Having hit a brick wall in their pursuit of Southampton defensive rock Virgil van Dijk in the summer transfer window, Liverpool are believed to be prepared to drop their interest in the defender and pursue a move for fellow Dutch international Stefan de Vrij. Reds boss Jürgen Klopp is believed to be eager to bolster his defensive line in January, with de Vrij a key target.
As reported by Italian football website Calciomercato, via the Mirror, the Reds will look to battle Serie A giants Juventus and Inter Milan in their pursuit of the highly-rated 25-year-old.
Juventus are looking to fill the void left by legendary Italian defender Leonardo Bonucci, who joined big-spending sleeping giants AC Milan in arguably the best coup of the summer transfer window.
The former Feyenoord star has enhanced his reputation considerably during his three year spell with I Biancocelesti, and Liverpool are believed to be prepared to give up their attempts to sign van Dijk as de Vrij represents a better value, and a more realistic prospect. The defensive worries of the Reds were highlighted in Tuesday night’s 2-2 Champions League draw with Sevilla.
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Liverpool are widely believed to be one of the best attacking forces in the Premier League, with the likes of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané at the forefront of the side’s attacking endeavours in their clashes so far this season.
However, a shaky defence cannot be ignored, and Klopp will be determined to strengthen his central defence in the January window.
?Liverpool are believed to be hot on the trail of Fiorentina’s burgeoning young talent Federico Chiesa.
19-year-old Chiesa – the son of former Italian international Enricio Chiesa – has been lighting up Serie A with his displays for Viola so far this season, and has eight U-21 caps for Italy to his name already.
As reported by Italian football website Calciomercato, Liverpool will face stiff competition in their pursuit of the prodigious youngster, with Inter and Napoli believed to be hellbent on signing the versatile forward.
Fiorentina are well aware of the potential ability possessed by Chiesa, and are unlikely to accept any less than €40m for the player.
Liverpool would do well to tempt Chiesa in a move to the Premier League, given the glowing reputation he has earned thus far in Italy during the early stages in his career.
A move to Inter seems the most likely destination for the young forward, but Fiorentina boss Stefano Pioli will be desperate to keep the player with the club for as long as possible.
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Chiesa has shown himself to be a fast, versatile and skilful player during his early days at Fiorentina – being utilised as a winger, but with the ability to lead the line when required.
The forward shone in his side’s 5-0 away thrashing of Verona last weekend, proving a constant thorn in his opponents’ side, showcasing relentless pace and energy with dazzling forward runs.
?Uruguayan U-20s international Carlos Benavidez has been in discussions with Internazionale over a potential move to the Italian giants, according to reports.
Hailed for his performances in central midfield during Uruguay’s run to the U-20s World Cup semi-finals last year, Benavidez has attracted attention from a host of European clubs.
Currently plying his trade for Defensor Sporting in his homeland’s top division, the 19-year-old has been linked with Benfica, Genoa and Fiorentina as well as attracting the eye of Inter and a host of other clubs.
Benevidez’s agent, Javier Hernandez spoke about links to Luciano Spaletti’s side, courtesy of ?CalcioMercato.
He said: “We did not speak directly with Inter but with some intermediaries. It would be an honor to dress the shirt of an important club like the Nerazzurri. Let’s see what’s going on.
“We’ve been offered by clubs in Spain and England, what I can say is that we will choose the best.”
The 19-year-old already has honours to his name with a winners medal from the 2017 South American Championships with his national side, the midfielder has continued to impress on the big stage in the last couple of years.
His playing style is likened to that of Real Madrid’s midfield anchor Casemiro, with great passing ability and an ability to control the game from a deeper midfield role Benevidez will be hoping a big move to Europe would bring similar reward.
After seeing player prices skyrocket this summer, Internazionale are desperate to tie star striker Mauro Icardi down to a new long-term contract.
24-year-old Icardi is undoubtedly one of the most talented strikers in world football, averaging a goal every 53 minutes this season and scoring 24 times in Serie A last season.
According to Premium Sport (via Football Italia) the Nerazzuri are keen to renew their key man’s contract and increase his buyout claise, which stands at a tempting €110m.
Icardi signed a new deal with Inter just last October, despite a public falling out with the sections of the club’s fans. Back then, a clause of €110m was inserted into the deal – which (in 2016) would have meant only a world-record bid could see him switch clubs.
However, Paris Saint-Germain changed the transfer market forever this summer after paying €222m for Barcelona star Neymar, as well as agreeing to a deal in principle with AS Monaco for the permanent transfer (expected to be €180m) of Kylian Mbappé next summer.
Inter’s hierarchy are now keen to raise the Argentine striker’s release clause to above €200m, while also giving Icardi a healthy raise to a salary of around €4.5m per season.
The Sampdoria striker has started this season on fire under new manager Luciano Spalletti, scoring five times in just three games – including doubles against Fiorentina and title rivals Roma.
?Southampton had a €12m bid for Philippe Coutinho accepted in 2012, according to former Saints executive chairman Nicola Cortese.
Coutinho, who was then playing for Inter Milan, joined Liverpool a year later and has become one of the best players in the Premier League, attracting interest from Barcelona over the summer.
However, Cortese told Jim White that the south coast club had an offer accepted for the Brazilian, but the deal ultimately failed to be completed.
With Coutinho presumingly rejecting the chance to sign for Southampton, the club proceeded to sign Jay Rodriguez, Gaston Ramirez and Steven Davis over the next year or so.
Southampton have signed a number of players Liverpool have then gone on to purchase, with Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren, Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana all swapping St Mary’s for Anfield in recent years.
The Reds could have looked to sign Coutinho had he impressed at Southampton, but instead bought the 25-year-old for £8.5m in 2013.
Coutinho has since gone on to be a hit on Merseyside, scoring 42 goals in 182 appearances for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
His form attracted interest from Barcelona during the summer and Coutinho was eager to leave Liverpool, handing in a transfer request as the Premier League side rejected three bids from the Catalan giants.
Coutinho missed the 5-0 defeat at Manchester City on Saturday, but has been included in Liverpool’s Champions League squad, with Klopp eager to reintegrate the former Espanyol midfielder as soon as possible.