The biggest story from the Premier League this weekend was of course Virgil van Dijk ACL injury which could keep him out for the rest of the season and talk has quickly shifted to how this affects Liverpool’s attempts to retain the title and what they need to do to fill the void left by the dutchman in defense.
the reds backline now looks pretty thin with Joe Gomez the injury-prone Joel Matip and 18-year-old Sepp van den Berg Klopp’s only specialist center halves, Fabinho can of course deputize there too but it’s far from an ideal situation and the general feeling is that the club will need to dip into the transfer market this winter
and the name which has cropped up this week is RB Leipzig’s day or two for Upamecano, the French defender was strongly linked with moves to Man United and Arsenal in the summer but Liverpool were also reportedly interested in the 22-year-old and now Jamie Carragher is calling for the club to get a deal done for the highly-rated youngster in January reasoning that he would have been a target for Klopp next summer anyway
Upamecano’s 42 million euro release clause only comes into effect after the end of the season meaning the reds would potentially have to cough up a lot more to secure his services in the winter window but with the club aiming for Premier League and champions league success this term especially as they brought in no replacement for Dejan Lovren in the summer and with the club looking more vulnerable defensively even before van Dijk injury
Ben White was also looked at during the summer but they were reportedly unwilling to meet Brighton’s hefty valuation of the 23-year-old, and also they are concerned about his lack of ability in the air compared with van Dijk meanwhile Kalidou Koulibaly name has also come up Surprise SURPRISE but he would no doubt cost more than any of Liverpool’s targets, Napoli holding firm in that 80 million euro valuation which would no doubt rise with the premium that comes with January transfers
whoever they go for stepping into the dutchman’s shoes is one of the toughest jobs in football right now.
now to rivals, Man United who struggled to shift their defensive deadwood in the summer with Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, and Sergio Romero all remaining at Old Trafford. all three were recently axed from the club’s Champions League squad, and as a result, Jones is apparently keen to leave as soon as possible according to reports in the English press,
the defender has made over 200 appearances for Manchester United since arriving from Blackburn as a teenager back in 2011 but has also been plagued by injury throughout his time in Manchester not playing a match since January, however, his latest contract signed last year doesn’t expire until 2023 meaning United are still holding out for around 20 million pounds for his signature
so while Jones may be eyeing up the January window for a possible escape it seems unlikely that any potential suitors will meet the 28-year-old’s valuation let alone his estimated 100 000 a week wages and even then his options look limited at best,
Fulham who looked most interested in landing him in the summer ended up signing three center-backs before the window shut making a winter move for him unlikely. it looks like this could be a long old season for Mr. Jones.
towards the end of the summer, Barcelona’s interest in Lautaro Martínez began to cool off with the Catalan club focusing their efforts on pursuing the much cheaper Memphis Depay from Lyon. and now it looks like the Argentinian’s dream of linking up with Messi at the camp now could be over for good with Calciomercato reporting that Inter Milan are expecting their prized asset to sign a new contract at the San Siro
according to the Italian outlet, he will earn 7 million euros a year on his new deal which is some way off the 10 million he was reportedly being offered by basa but would make him one of the club’s highest-paid players
furthermore, they are also keen to scrap his 110 million euro release clause putting the club in a more advantageous position if one of Europe’s super-rich elite come calling. this is a clear sign of inter’s long-term ambition to rank among the continent’s top clubs again but what does this mean for Barca
with the Luis Suarez replacement still needed reports to suggest they are keen on a move for AZ Alkmaar teenager Myron Boadu and are apparently ready to offload Ousmane Dembélé and Martin Braithwaite in order to facilitate the transfer, but as we saw in the summer that’s easier said than done.