After chasing Alisson Becker for most of the summer, and the apparent continuous woes of Loris Karius, the purchase of a new goalkeeper has been the number-one priority on most fans’ wish list.
Now that’s sorted, it is important not to neglect deals for other potential targets, as the end of a World Cup usually signals an enormous bidding war for the competition’s top performers.
One such player is Croatian central defender Domagoj Vida, who was an important cog in the group wheel that got to within 90 minutes of World Cup glory.
Now, he may not be one of the best central defenders in the world like his national defensive partner and current-Red Dejan Lovren (it’s at this point that the writer almost spits-out his coffee), but he has had an excellent summer epitomised by a final that his team may have lost, but in which Vida boasted a series of successful tackles as long as his luscious locks.
His performances in Russia have led to rumours of a move away from footballing graveyard Besiktas, and while the likes of Atlético Madrid, Sevilla and Leicester are interested, along with that blue lot from the other side of town, Liverpool are reportedly in pole position and have already submitted a £20m bid for the 29-year old.
The Turkish side want £30m, a little steep for a man on the verge of the big three-o, but they will likely be willing to negotiate.
The move makes sense – while we have decent depth in central defence, unlikely fans’ favourite Ragnar Klavan turns 33 in October, and question marks remain over the fitness and form of Joel Matip.
Also, Vida’s years of experience playing alongside Lovren for Croatia means that they will be extremely familiar with each-other’s styles of play and should be able to play well together at club level.
Liverpool’s No. 6 would also be able to help the potential new arrival to settle-in quickly at Anfield, minimising the time it would take for him to get comfortable living and playing on Merseyside and in the Premier League.
He is not a nailed-on signing, and the fanbase will be much more interested in signing Nabil Fékir after Alisson, but we could end-up seeing more than one Croatian centre-back Livin’ la Vida Loca at Liverpool this coming season.
By Daniel Moxon – @dmoxon_