After agreeing deals for five new players already this summer, Liverpool are on the verge of landing Southampton’s England right-back Nathaniel Clyne for a snip at £12.5m, according to the papers at least.
With no fit right-back in the Reds’ permanent squad following Glen Johnson’s departure, Jon Flanagan’s woeful injury problems and Javi Manquillo’s underwhelming season on loan from Atletico Madrid, bagging Clyne for just over a third of the fee Manchester United paid Saints for left-back Luke Shaw last summer seems solid business.
Considering Raheem Sterling occasionally turned out in Clyne’s position last term, it’s clear the 24-year-old Three Lions regular, who has nailed down a place in Roy Hodgson’s XI since the last World Cup, will walk into boss Brendan Rodgers’ first team, but the Northern Irishman’s focus must pivot to the next gap that needs filling at Anfield.
The appointment of former Liverpool chief Rafa Benitez as Real Madrid’s new manager seems to have been a boon for his old employees, with the goatee-sporting Spaniard reportedly not at all keen on defensive-midfielder Asier Illarramendi, a long-time Liverpool target.
‘Illarra’ signed for Los Blancos from Real Sociedad in a €32m deal two summers ago, a couple of weeks before Isco’s move to the Bernabeu from Malaga, but the 25-year-old hasn’t been able to replicate his fellow Spaniard’s impact.
Former gaffer Carlo Ancelotti clearly saw the anchorman as a useful squad member, often starting Illarramendi domestically in between important Champions League fixtures, but after failing to establish himself as a first-team regular with Madrid after two terms, a move looks on the cards.
The Daily Star believes Liverpool had a £10.6m bid for the Basque Country native rejected, but with Benitez not expected to put up much of a fight to keep Illarramendi, the red-top reckons £15m plus add-ons will be enough.
Considering Liverpool’s only senior deep-lying midfielder is oft-injured and occasionally unfancied Brazilian Lucas Leiva, they’ll need him.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £25 in free bets.