Klopp in talks with gifted midfielder over Bosman deal; Liverpool’s Bruno Fernandes?

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Liverpool are reportedly in talks to sign AC Milan midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu on a free transfer with his contract expiring at the end of June.

According to Calciomercato, the Turkish midfielder has not decided on his future at the San Siro. With his contract expiring on June 30th, his chances of renewing to stay with the Serie A side ‘diminish’.

While he is considering his options before making a decision, he will refuse a big-money offer from Qatar with the report stating that ‘the player’s entourage also had contact with Liverpool.’

That said, the Reds are yet to make a formal offer to Calhanoglu but I think Jurgen Klopp should sign him for several reasons.

Hakan Calhanoglu
GENOA, ITALY – DECEMBER 06: Hakan Calhanoglu of AC Milan looks on during the Serie A match between UC Sampdoria and AC Milan at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on December 06, 2020, in Genoa, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

Georginio Wijnaldum is on the cusp of signing for Barcelona on a free transfer after he ran down the final year of his contract.

With Liverpool not set to receive a fee for the Dutchman’s services, they either need to sign a cheap but exciting talent or look for a free agent that can plug the gap left by Gini’s departure.

While signing a cheap but developable young player would be best in the long term, the Reds are looking to return to the top of the Premier League next season and need to have a wealth of quality in every position to do so.

Calhanoglu is clearly looking for a new project and if Calciomercato’s report is anything to go by, Liverpool fancy the Turk and he fits the profile that is needed this summer.

Hakan Calhanoglu
AC Milan’s Turkish midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu shoots to score the winning penalty in the final penalty shootout during the Italian Cup (Coppa Italia) round of sixteen football match AC Milan vs Torino on January 12, 2021, at the San Siro stadium in Milan. (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images)

He’s still only 27 years old so if he theoretically signed a five-year contract, he’d be 32 by the time he left the club and while this could land the club in another Wijnaldum situation, they could arrange for his contract to include a one-year extension option similar to the one in Andy Robertson’s contract.

This would give Liverpool the ability to avoid letting another 30+ midfielder leave for free but if the AC Milan ace can bring the same success to Anfield that Wijnaldum did during his time at the club, most fans would be happy to see him leave for free after five years.

In 43 games for Stefano Pioli’s side, Calhanoglu got 9 goals and 12 assists. Not only is that more than all of Liverpool’s midfielder’s combined but it’s also more than Roberto Firmino was able to contribute this season.

While he certainly isn’t on Bruno Fernandes’ level, the Reds would benefit hugely by adding more goals from midfield. Since Philippe Coutinho left the club, there has been an absence of significant goal contribution from central areas.

BARCELONA, SPAIN – MAY 01: Manager of Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp hugs Philippe Coutinho of FC Barcelona after the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final first leg match between Barcelona and Liverpool at the Nou Camp on May 01, 2019, in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

Not only would adding goals and assists into a functional midfield take the pressure off of Mohamed Salah and co. but it would also give opposition sides more to worry about and make them a lot more unpredictable.

The element of surprise can be invaluable against a low block content to sit deep and hit the Reds on the counter-attack.

Signing Ibrahima Konate and having Virgil van Dijk back will enable Liverpool to repel most counter-attacks but they still need to work on breaking down the more defensively stubborn sides in the Premier League which is something that almost cost them Champions League qualification.

Konate and van Dijk.
Liverpool Football Club have reached an agreement for the transfer of Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig. (Edit by Bleacher Report)

Signing Calhanoglu would give Liverpool the ability to switch things up a play several different formations if necessary.

And without needing to pay a transfer fee, it would save funds for reinforcing the attack.

Michael Mongie
Football Central Media Group founder, owner and editor.

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