Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Leicester target Lazio ace as fears grow Liverpool could snatch superb mid

Leicester have identified a former Liverpool flop as a transfer target after Reds links with one of two Foxes stars facing uncertain futures continue to persist, per a report.

Under Brendan Rodgers, Leicester have been transformed into a side capable of mixing it with the big boys. While their start to the new campaign has been far from ideal, few would be surprised to see the Foxes secure another European spot at season’s end.

Two stars who have played critical roles in their recent surge are Youri Tielemans and James Maddison. In Tielemans’ case, transfer links to Liverpool have been commonplace ever since Georginio Wijnaldum’s departure.

Trusted transfer guru Fabrizio Romano declared Tielemans’ future to be “one to watch” next summer.

The Belgian is in the final two years of his contract and a sale could be sanctioned next summer to avoid losing him for free 12 months later – if a new deal isn’t signed.

Now, Goal (citing Spanish outlet Fichajes), report Leicester have settled on a transfer target capable of softening the blow if Tielemans or Maddison leave.

They claim former Liverpool attacker Luis Alberto is on their radar as a ‘substitute’ for Tielemans or Maddison.

The 28-year-old spent three years on Liverpool’s books between 2013-16. Alberto made little impression during his stint, though his career has rebounded superbly with Lazio since.

Alberto was named in the Serie A team of the year for he 2019/20 campaign and is hailed in the article for his ability to create havoc in the final third.

Given his position, he would appear to be a more direct alternative to Maddison than Tielemans. Nonetheless, should Tielemans wind up at Liverpool, a hefty fee would be generated, some of which could go towards signing Alberto.

Meanwhile, Former Liverpool winger Steve McManaman has advised Jurgen Klopp not to sign Tielemans. McManaman is a big fan of the player but does not feel there is room for him in the side.

“I certainly think he’s good enough,” said McManaman (via The Express). “He’s done really well and starred in this Leicester team and played very well.

“I also know he’s done very well in the Belgium shirt. But you’re trying to shoehorn people into areas where they’ve got loads of bodies there already.”

Instead, the BT Sport commentator expects to see investment made in more pressing areas of the squad.

“Do I think Liverpool will spend next summer? The answer would be yes,” he added. “They’ll have a big pot of money next year when I think they’ll spend properly again. But it’s all just about picking the right area; whether you get rid of two or three in the midfield to bring in Tielemans is another thing.

“At the moment there is congestion. You’ve got Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott coming in there – younger players with huge amounts of talent – Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

“There are bodies galore. Do they need a Tielemans at this moment in time? No. He’s a really good player, but I just don’t see where he fits in.”

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