Seven players Klopp and Liverpool could look to sign for free in the summer

Clubs have the option of signing pre-contracts with players who have six months or less on their current contracts. With the deals of many players set to expire in the summer, Liverpool could look to secure the signings of one or two for next season early.

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Having purchased Takumi Minamino, Jürgen Klopp showed that he is happy to splash the cash in January when both the player and the deal are worth his while.

Having come out in the media stating that Liverpool would not be too busy for the remainder of the window, the manager managed to distance the club from the whirlwind of rumours which inevitably come with a transfer window.

That said, Liverpool have shown in the past that they have an eye for a free transfer, with the likes James Milner and Joël Matip having joined the club through the Bosman Rule in recent years.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at seven players currently winding down their contracts who could join Liverpool with no transfer fee.

It is important to note that current rules surrounding Bosman transfers state that Liverpool — or any other Premier League club — would not be able to sign other players based in England on pre-contracts and would have to wait until their current deal expires.

Anyway, in no particular order, let’s begin.

Thiago Silva — Paris Saint-Germain

Although ageing, Thiago Silva is a legend of the game having won the league in both Italy with AC Milan as well as in Ligue 1 with current employers PSG.

The 35-year-old is still an integral part of the Parisian outfit and has featured in 28 out of their 39 matches this season where he has helped the side keep an impressive 17 clean sheets.


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Despite his drop in pace, Silva still has the ability to reach significant speeds for a centre-back — nowhere near the levels of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, but he’s quick enough.

Moreover, aside from the pace, he is still an impressive defender in his own right and is no doubt a hugely coveted transfer target throughout Europe.

His tough tackling, which has been key for him throughout his career, has seemingly improved as he has learned to deal with the slight drop in pace and his leadership skills are second to none.

For these reasons, as well as the wealth of experience he would bring, I would love to see the club sign Silva to provide experienced competition and backup to Gomez and van Dijk.

I do not believe the current PSG captain would be a regular starter at Anfield. However, I do think that he would be able to aid in Gomez’s development as the young English star would be learning first-hand from one of the modern greats, as well as from one of the current best in Virgil.

Silva would also provide an improved level of backup in the position if we were to go through the same injury crisis next season as we currently are.

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John Lundstram — Sheffield United

You can never have too many hard workers in your team and the possible acquisition of Lundstram, who has been one of the Premier League’s surprise talents this season, would provide Klopp with another tireless midfielder who never seems to stop running.

Lundstram has been integral to the Sheffield side that has defied all expectations and currently sits fifth place in the Premier League.

The Liverpool-born midfielder — who has been racking up the points on fantasy football, may I add — has scored four goals and registered two assists from the centre of midfield.

As well as his constant running, the Scouser has shown high levels of consistency, featuring in 20 of the club’s 21 Premier League games and always receives high praise from players and pundits alike.

At only 25 years old and on a free transfer, Lundstram would provide the Reds with a low-risk option that has the fitness levels to carry out Klopp’s high pressing intense philosophy.

Moreover, due to his lack of star status, the Englishman would not necessarily command huge wages or demand playing time, making him an ideal squad player who Klopp would no doubt find useful throughout the busy English campaigns.

Dries Mertens — Napoli

Who wouldn’t want Napoli’s record goalscorer? We’ve played against him twice this season and he has scored in both games.

With an ability to play across the front three, Mertens would fit seamlessly into our formation. Moreover, his natural position sees him deployed either behind the striker or in the false nine position, meaning that system wise he is also a match.

Last season, the 32-year-old Belgian notched 19 goals and 12 assists across 47 games for the Naples based outfit and has continued his form this season, where he has so far notched 10 goals and registered five assists in 25 club appearances — more than one goal involvement in every other game.

Given the players quality it was always unlikely that Napoli would ever let one of their star men run down their contract and leave on a free. However, a recent fall out between the players and the club president has seen upheaval with rumours swirling that a mass clearing is incoming.

Due to this, it is highly likely that Mertens will be allowed to leave and therefore should be snapped up by Klopp.

The Belgian, who I don’t believe would start at Anfield, would provide world-class competition to Roberto Firmino, high quality back up off the bench and a high level rotational option for Klopp to use throughout the busy parts of the season.

Due to his high wages it is unlikely Liverpool will bring him in for a bit part role, but I for one would love to see Mertens in Liverpool red.

Willian — Chelsea

Just like with Mertens I can’t picture why Liverpool fans would not want Willian to walk through the door at Melwood.

The 31-year-old Brazilian has been plying his trade in the Premier League since 2013 in which time he has shown truly world-class ability, winning two Premier League titles, one FA Cup, one League Cup and a UEFA Europa League.

Although on the decline, Willian is known globally as one of football’s most dangerous widemen. His ability on the ball is brilliant and akin to Sadio Mané in that he, more often than not, provides his side with the X-factor that is needed to change a game.

So far this season, the Brazilian has five goals and five assists in 31 appearances — hardly anything to get excited about, but his ability is still there.

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Would he start regularly at Anfield? No, just like everyone else on this list. But, he would provide solid backup to the likes of Mané and Mohamed Salah.

Moreover, if Xherdan Shaqiri does in fact leave in search of first-team football in the summer, then Willian would provide an instant swap that is arguably higher quality, albeit a different kind of winger.

Edinson Cavani — Paris Saint-Germain

Again, why the hell not?

Cavani is one of world football’s most lethal strikers ever. He is PSG’s all time goal-scorer on 199 goals and currently sits second on the list of Uruguay’s all time top goal-scorers on 50 goals, only nine behind Luis Suárez. Simply put, the man knows where the net is.

A lot of you will be saying Cavani doesn’t suit our style of play, a point with which I wholeheartedly agree. However, as we are now considered the best team in the world, more and more teams are coming to Anfield, sitting back and defending in a low block.

This is when Cavani would be a perfect weapon for Klopp. The striker is physically intimidating to play against — aside from scoring for fun, his game is built around bullying defenders and with the service provided by our flying full-backs I think he would be able to do both.

Unfortunately, I’m quite sure this deal won’t happen. Aside from his wages, which are believed to be substantial, Cavani is one of Europe’s elite forwards, so he will not likely be content with a spot on our bench. Moreover, the Uruguayan has also been heavily linked with a move to Atlético Madrid and, honestly, it suits him far better.

Either way, we can always dream so here’s hoping we sign a deal that sees the Uruguayan pack his bags for Merseyside.

Thomas Meunier — Paris Saint-Germain

Our final raid from PSG would be this tank of a right-back.

First things first, a trend in this list has been that everyone on the list would be signed as a squad player. This is no different with Meunier as he would be cover for the boy wonder, Trent Alexander-Arnold.

By every meaning of the word, Meunier is an absolute unit of a wing back. The man stands at 6ft 2in, is hard as nails and is a defensive rock. Unlike Trent, Meunier lacks creativity and is first and foremost a defender. I’m fine with that.

On the odd occasion when Klopp has chosen to rest Trent we have seen Gomez deployed on the right instead. With Meunier’s signing we would be able to keep the Englishman in his preferred central position but still deploy an equally strong defensive option down the flank.

If reports are to be believed, the Belgian’s wages are not too extravagant and so from a financial point of view it does seem possible. Furthermore, the full-back is not only used to being rotated but is also pretty secure in his national team, so sitting on the bench will not necessarily hamper his international career.

Having been at PSG since 2016, Meunier has served as the understudy to Dani Alves for the two-year stint that they were teammates. His professionalism saw him continue to work hard in this role for the team and at Liverpool he would be expected to do the same.

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My only reservation would be that I am a big fan of Neco Williams and I would not want his development to be hampered as a result of the transfer.

Ryan Fraser — Bournemouth

Probably the player we have been linked with the most on this list and the one I am most excited about for a multitude of reasons.

Firstly, there is a serious chance this could happen. Fraser is one of the Premier League’s most dangerous wingers and he is currently plying his trade at a Bournemouth team who, at this moment in time, are seriously under-performing and sit in the relegation zone.

Although having not hit the heights of last season, the winger has proven he has the quality to become a serious asset for the Reds with his 2018/19 league campaign yielding 21 goal involvements from 38 appearances — seven goals and 14 assists.

Aside from the stats, something else to get excited about is the undeniable and probably unstoppable rapport he will build with his international captain Andy Robertson down the left flank.

Playing with each other at club level as well as on international duty will allow both players to build a chemistry that could be the downfall of most oppositions.

I’m by no means suggesting that Fraser would start ahead of Mané, but he could provide a rotational option as well as an impact off the bench. At just 25 years of age, Fraser would also provide longevity and value for money.

If we were only able to get one of these players signed, I am pretty sure I would hang my hat on Fraser due to a combination of the potential for a dangerous left wing rapport with Robbo, the longevity thanks to his age, the low financial risk and the likelihood that he would not kick up a storm for joining in a rotational capacity.

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