Liverpool negotiations over £60million centre-forward complicated by manager departure

Gennaro Gattuso has left Fiorentina less than a month after being appointed and Liverpool are in talks with their star striker, Dusan Vlahovic.

Anfield Central reported on Thursday evening that talks are ongoing with Fiorentina over a deal to sign Vlahovic and Liverpool were told that his signature will cost as much as £60million.

However, Genaro Gattuso’s departure will complicate matters. The Italian manager wanted to sign players that are too expensive for Fiorentina which has led to an agreement to null and void his contract with the club less than a month after it was signed.

He’s now in ‘advanced talks’ to become Tottenham boss, according to Fabrizio Romano.

It does make you wonder why signings and the obvious costs involved weren’t discussed before Gattuso was appointed but now, with Fiorentina in the process of appointing his successor, signing Dusan Vlahovic becomes that much more complicated.

FLORENCE, ITALY - MAY 08: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Dusan Vlahovic of ACF Fiorentina gestures during the Serie A match between ACF Fiorentina and SS Lazio at Stadio Artemio Franchi on May 8, 2021 in Florence, Italy.
FLORENCE, ITALY – MAY 08: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Dusan Vlahovic of ACF Fiorentina gestures during the Serie A match between ACF Fiorentina and SS Lazio at Stadio Artemio Franchi on May 8, 2021 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Matteo Ciambelli/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Even before Gattuso was appointed, Fiorentina’s stance was that they will not sell their star player without a massive offer. £60million is their asking price but now, with a new coach incoming, it remains to be seen if the Serie A outfit changes their stance on selling him.

Why are Liverpool interested in Vlahovic?

The Serbian was simply outstanding this season. He scored 21 league goals and finished fourth in Italy for goals scored behind Luis Muriel (22), Romelu Lukaku (24) and the iconic Cristiano Ronaldo (29).

Liverpool need a player like Dusan Vlahovic to lead the line as Roberto Firmino simply isn’t clinical enough to be guaranteed a starting spot anymore and the ‘Purple Bomber’ could be the man to do so.

VERONA, ITALY - APRIL 20: Dusan Vlahovic of ACF Fiorentina scores their team's first goal from the penalty spot during the Serie A match between Hellas Verona FC and ACF Fiorentina at Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi on April 20, 2021 in Verona, Italy.
VERONA, ITALY – APRIL 20: Dusan Vlahovic of ACF Fiorentina scores their team’s first goal from the penalty spot during the Serie A match between Hellas Verona FC and ACF Fiorentina at Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi on April 20, 2021 in Verona, Italy. (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

Personally, I can’t see Liverpool being willing to pay a fee that would make Vlahovic the club’s third most expensive player of all time but he’d certainly be a fascinating option.

Where else does Klopp need to reinforce?

The obvious answer is in midfield given Georginio Wijnaldum’s free-agent move to PSG but I still think that Liverpool need to sign a right-back if Neco Williams leaves on loan as it will leave them exposed if Trent Alexander-Arnold gets injured again.

The Scouser recently picked up a thigh injury that underlines the need to have some depth in that role.

Of course, Jurgen Klopp will likely use Joe Gomez or James Milner if Trent gets injured but that will limit the Reds’ ability to attack down the right-hand side.

The West Derby-born fullback has proven to be one of the most important players in the starting XI despite being just 22.

MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND - JUNE 02: Trent Alexander-Arnold of England reacts after picking up an injury during the international friendly match between England and Austria at Riverside Stadium on June 02, 2021 in Middlesbrough, England. (Photo by Peter Powell - Pool/Getty Images)
MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND – JUNE 02: Trent Alexander-Arnold of England reacts after picking up an injury during the international friendly match between England and Austria at Riverside Stadium on June 02, 2021 in Middlesbrough, England. (Photo by Peter Powell – Pool/Getty Images)

The 2021/22 Premier League season is a massive one for Liverpool and for Klopp. Bouncing back and reclaiming the title will be the 54-year-old’s biggest achievement and will show his ability to bounce back and succeed despite adversity.

The Reds were decimated by an injury crisis this season, with 20 different centre-back partnerships fielded.

The club responded by signing Ibrahima Konate for just £36m and the Frenchman will start the season alongside Virgil van Dijk.

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

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