Ramirez Rumour Review: Future stars, unsettled forwards and… well, downright madness

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By Matthew Ramirez – @Matt_J_Ramirez

We’re into the first week in July and the transfer window is officially open!

With this being said, other than the signing of our newest Dutch centre back the Reds have been relatively silent so far. The rumours, on the other hand, keep churning away and this week there is a serious stinker…

Anyway, let’s get on with it.

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IN: Rekeem Harper – West Brom

No doubt many of you will not have heard of this young talent coming out of the Hawthorns, but I for one think he would be a decent fit at Anfield.

The 19-year-old plays in the centre of midfield, making 23 senior appearances for West Brom last season and helping them to a fourth-placed finish in the Championship. Along the way he notched himself one goal and one assist, but he now finds himself out of contract after he failed to agree an extension on his current deal.

The Metro are reporting that we, along with the likes of Tottenham, Celtic and Juventus, are all interested in acquiring his signature, but new Baggies boss Slaven Bilic has not yet given up and is believed to be attempting to persuade the youngster to stay.

Harper is by no means the finished article and he shouldn’t and wouldn’t be anywhere near our starting XI. With this being said, this coming season will be a long one and we will need some serious squad depth. At points last season (domestic cups), Klopp turned to youngsters to fill out his match day squads and it is here where I wouldn’t mind seeing young Rekeem get some game time.

He is 6ft tall and has the makings to be a quality box-to-box player. His passing, dribbling, speed and stamina are clear indicators that he has potential which is waiting to be unlocked, however, some West Brom fans would argue that he lacks effort – similar to the bashing Xherdan Shaqiri received from Stoke fans during his transfer last Summer.

As has been proven throughout his career, Klopp excels at getting the best out of players. He finds a system which compliments their strengths and defends their weaknesses, more so he also has a knack for getting everyone to work hard for each other as can be seen by the Shaqiri’s improved ethic this season. Due to these factors I believe Klopp could unlock Harper’s potential and turn him into a quality midfield general.

With this being said, not much else has come of the transfer, however work could be going on behind the scenes.

Verdict:
2/5

IN: Ousmane Dembele – FC Barcelona

This next rumour is again brought to us courtesy of The Metro and this time features Liverpool in for a world renowned superstar. Ousmane Dembele.

We all know who he is. A rapid, tricky and all round excellent French winger who just so happened to miss an absolute sitter against us in our first leg UEFA Champions League semi-final tie at the Nou Camp. For that we say, thank you Ousmane.

All joking aside, this lad is super talented and I would be over the moon if we signed him. However, I’m not too sure that we will.

The player is believed to want to stay and fight for his play in Catalonia, however Barca on the other hand are open to the idea of letting him go – no doubt due to the imminent arrival of a certain Antoine Griezmann.

Barca have stated that they will only do business for an offer in the region of £93million – the fee they paid for the starlet two seasons ago. It is not the price tag that makes me doubt this transfer but the player himself.

Liverpool currently find themselves in what I like to call the ‘Harry Kane Situation’. I will explain. For Tottenham, when Kane is fit, he plays. No question about it.

For the last few seasons, Spurs have struggled to find adequate quality back up to their star man due to that the fact that world class strikers don’t want to join the club to be an understudy to Kane, they want to start. With Liverpool’s explosive and world-class front three, Klopp now finds himself having the same dilemma.

When Firmino, Salah and Mané are fit, they play. They have to play. They scare everyone because they are three of the best attackers in the world. Dembele is a quality player, but he would not start ahead of either of our front three. This is where I believe the problem lies.

I do not think Dembele would come to Liverpool to sit on our bench and play a bit part role.If he is happy to be a reserve and pick up a pay cheque, then it is far more likely that he will do so at Barca where he would be the understudy to Lionel Messi.

Moreover, £93m is a lot of money pay for someone who wouldn’t breach the front three, so I doubt that we’d be doing business anyways. I love Dembele and I think he would be a great addition. It would be such an asset if we were able to bring him off the bench like Pep does with Leroy Sané, but I just can’t see it happening.

Verdict:
1/5

OUT – Sadio Mané – Real Madrid

I told you we had a stinker of a rumour coming up, and it comes courtesy of 90min.

They report that Zidane is plotting an ambitious move for Sadio Mané which would see Liverpool receive Marco Asensio. They also say that “the chance to sign Asensio could prove too good to turn down”.

Sadio Mané in 2018/19:
– Played – 50
– Scored – 26
– Assisted – 5
– Goal/assist ratio – 1 in every 1.6 games

Marco Asensio in 2018/19:
– Played – 44
– Scored – 6
– Assisted – 7
– Goal/Assist Ratio – 1 in every 3.3 games

Struggling to see how it would be “too good to turn down.”

I need to make one thing clear. Asensio is an unreal talent and if Liverpool have the option to bring him to the club then I think Klopp should do everything in his power to make it happen. Except for sending one of our star players in the other direction.

It is being reported that Real Madrid are refusing to allow Asensio to join Klopp unless they get Mané, however, Liverpool may be able to force their hand.

Los Blancos are currently in the midst of a Galactico level spending spree. They have signed Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Eder Militao, Ferland Mendy and Rodrygo all for a combined fee of around £270m.

They have managed to recoup around £67m thanks to the sales of Mateo Kovacic and Marcos Llorente, however, Florentino Perez’ side could still see themselves at risk of being hit by financial fair play should they not bring in more revenue.

In other words, Madrid still very much need to sell in order to balance their books, and the whole footballing world know about. If ever there was a time where clubs can hold Real Madrid to ransom, now is it.

If there is genuine interest from Liverpool in Marco Asensio, then playing the waiting game could be the smart tactic for Klopp and co, as it is more likely than not that Madrid will cave in and eventually accept a more reasonable offer which does not require Mané in return.

As for Mané’s potential departure in this so-called swap deal. It isn’t going to happen. At least not as is being depicted, which is a straight like for like swap with no additional fee’s. It would take a massive offer for Liverpool to even consider letting go of their Senegalese magician, and in my opinion this doesn’t even come close.

Verdict:
There’s more of a chance of United winning the league next season

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