Liverpool could have a busy end to their latest summer transfer window after Jurgen Klopp revealed that the Merseyside club will be looking to bring a new midfielder in before deadline day.
One player in that position who has been linked with a move to Anfield is Ruben Neves. However, that move is now unlikely according to the Wolves manager.
After seeing his side draw 1-1 against Newcastle United, Wolves manager Bruno Lage revealed that he is 99% sure the Portuguese midfielder will be staying at Molineux this summer, pouring cold water on Liverpool’s hopes of securing a late deal for him.
Despite this disappointment, the Reds were also linked with a late move over the weekend for Inter midfielder Nicolo Barella.
With 138 appearances for the Italian club under his belt, the 25-year-old has been a strong threat in the final third, registering 11 goals and 35 assists.
Last season saw the £77m-rated player start more games (36) in Series A than any other outfield player at Inter, showing how important he is to the team.
Barella ended that campaign with more goal-creating actions (20), progressive carries (211) and more tackles in the midfield (39) and attacking (14) thirds of the pitch than any of his teammates.
This shows how industrious he can be across the pitch, making himself not just a useful attacking threat but also a capable defensive figure as well. Klopp loves an all-rounder and that’s precisely what he could acquire by landing the Italian this summer.
Importantly, he could also be a more dynamic option in the centre than Neves.
In comparison with the Portuguese’s previous league campaign with Wolves, the Inter star managed to rack up more successful dribbles than him (40 vs 28) as well as more shot-creating actions (131 vs 55).
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His overall performances throughout the campaign earned the Inter star a solid seasonal rating of 7.13/10, making him the joint-fourth highest rated player at the San Siro according to WhoScored.
This rating would have listed him as Liverpool’s sixth-highest rated player by the same metric last season, ahead of the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota.
Hailed as an “extraordinary” player by Rolando Maran, Barella certainly has the credentials to be an impressive addition to Klopp’s squad.
With injuries ravaging the midfield area of Liverpool’s squad in the early stages of the new campaign, securing a late deal for the Italy international would be smart business. It would also make them forget all about the aforementioned Neves.