Fabrizio Romano: Liverpool “explored” Josko Gvardiol move

Image for Fabrizio Romano: Liverpool “explored” Josko Gvardiol move

According to Fabrizio Romano, Liverpool have previously explored the potential of signing Josko Gvardiol, but will be unlikely to complete a deal this summer.

Liverpool have been working on rebuilding their midfield this summer with Alexis Mac Allister the first new addition to be confirmed for next season.

The Reds found it extremely difficult to compete at an elite level and maintain their high standards both domestically and in Europe this season, which has ultimately resulted in a failure to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in over half a decade.

Jurgen Klopp and his squad will instead compete in the Europa League next season and the German coach will surely be working hard to find solutions and repair mistakes made over the last 12 months.

Whilst the focus has been mainly on the centre of the pitch in terms of potential targets during the summer transfer window, it is also the defensive set-up that has come into question too.

Joel Matip will be in the final year of his contract next season and Virgil van Dijk will be 32 years old when Premier League football resumes in August, so there is certainly a concern surrounding the quality, experience and depth the back-line will lose over the next few years.

One player who has been linked with the club in recent months is RB Leipzig centre-back Gvardiol, however, despite reports suggesting that Liverpool could make an approach, Romano has claimed the defender is “too expensive”.

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT on Thursday evening, the Italian journalist claimed:

“For Gvardiol, they love him. Already in January, they explored the conditions of the deal. The reality is that this is too expensive. After they left the race for Jude Bellingham because he was too expensive, I don’t see Liverpool going to spend €100m on a centre-back.”

Our thoughts on Fabrizio Romano’s claim…

The Anfield faithful will be under no illusion that their American owners are going to splash the cash like their rivals Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City.

However, given the lack of investment in crucial areas of the pitch in recent years which has clearly begun to make an impact on the side’s performances, a strong summer window would be the minimum expectation.

Indeed, Ibrahima Konate is showing strong signs of becoming a reliable and solid presence for the future who can match the levels of quality provided by teammate Van Dijk, but the other options for Klopp are much less inspiring.

Mainstay Joe Gomez has been regularly featured but has found himself in decline and unable to offer consistency after suffering several big injury issues, whilst Nathaniel Phillips made only two top-flight appearances this season.

As a result, it would make perfect sense for Liverpool to reinvest with the view to bolster their defensive options to ensure they don’t fall below their targets ahead of them and can compete with the numerous clubs strengthening around them.

Gvardiol is an incredibly impressive prospect for any club looking to invest in the future of their defence, especially considering he is a left-footed defender who can also operate in a full-back role on the left flank.

Many managers deem it desirable to have a left-footed centre-back in their armoury to provide balance across the back-line and Liverpool – at present – only have right-footed, meaning that Gvardiol would be an attractive prospect to explore.

The 21-year-old Croatian ranks in the top 10% of his positional peers across the top five European leagues for successful take-ons, passes attempted and non-penalty goals.

As well as ranking in the top 20% for shot-creating actions, progressive passes, pass completion and progressive carries – with Joel Matip named in the top ten players most comparable to Gvardiol over the last 12 months, as per FBref.

The £85m titan has already been the recipient of high praise over his short career so far, with Croatia assistant coach and former Bundesliga forward Ivica Olic claiming:

“Everyone is talking about this boy. All the top clubs in Europe know him. Gvardiol is an extraordinary talent. He can play great long balls, is a fine technician and is physically very strong.”

With that being said, the latest claim from Romano is another reminder that whilst Liverpool may have competed and won trophies consistently for many years under Klopp, their frugal owners will always be reluctant to follow the trend when it comes to big-name signings.

Share this article