Liverpool are on the verge of signing Augsburg central defender Ragnar Klavan , whilst the Merseyside club are also interested in recruiting Georginio Wijnaldum from Newcastle, according to the Telegraph.
Experienced Estonian to bolster defensive options
It is understood that Liverpool have agreed to initially pay £3.5m for Klavan, who played in both legs of Augsburg’s Europa League last 32 tie against Liverpool last season.
The 30-year-old Estonian captain has made 108 international appearances and been named his country’s player of the year for the last three seasons.
Since joining Augsburg in 2012, Klaven has made 125 appearances in the Bundesliga, whilst he was a member of the Estonian side which missed out on qualifying for Euro 2012 by losing 5-1 on aggregate in the play-offs to the Republic of Ireland.
The central defender previously played for AZ Alkmaar and won the 2008-2009 Dutch Eredivisie, under the guidance of Louis Van Gaal, whilst on loan at the club from Heracles Almelo. Klavan then signed a permanent deal with Alkmaar, where another of his former manager’s was current Everton’s Ronald Koeman.
At present signing an experienced centre half is a priority for Jurgen Klopp, given that he is currently very short on players to fill that position. That is as a result of Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Mamadou Sakho all struggling with injuries, whilst Kolo Toure has been released, Martin Sktrel sold to Fenerbache.
Therefore completing a deal to sign Klaven as soon as possible is of the utmost importance to Klopp.
Klopp targets Wijnaldum
The German manager has embarked upon a lengthy pursuit of the Polish internationalist midfielder Piotr Zielinski from Udinese but that appears to have ended in frustration. Subsequently in order to bolster his midfield options, as an alternative to Zielinski, Klopp is now keen to secure the services of Georginio Wiljnaldum from Newcastle as reported by the Liverpool Echo.
Wijnaldum joined the Magpies from PSV Eindhoven for £14.5m last summer. Following that, the 25-year-old Dutch internationalist was an ever present in the Premier League, providing five assists and scoring 11 goals, one of which was in Newcastle’s 2-0 over Liverpool at St. James’ Park last December.
As such the midfielder enjoyed an extremely impressive debut season in the Premier League, prior to which he spent four seasons with PSV, whom he helped to win the KNVB Cup in 2011-2012 and the Eredivisie in 2014-2015.
Prior to playing for PSV, Wijnaldum began his senior career with Feyenoord and remains the youngest ever player to appear for the club’s first team after making his debut aged just 16 years, 148 days in 2007.
During his time with Feyenoord and PSV, the 25-year-old amassed 220 Eredivisie appearances and scored 63 goals, to earn a move to Newcastle.
Whilst Newcastle value Wijnaldum at £27m, Liverpool are understood to be willing to pay £20m to sign the player. As such substantial negotiation will require to take place between the two club’s to facilitate any move.
Busy summer in the transfer market for Klopp
Should that successfully transpire and Liverpool also seal a deal to bring Ragnar Klavan to Anfield, then that would take Klopp’s tally of new recruits to five, as he has already signed the trio of Loris Karius, and Sadio Mane Joel Matip.
Therefore Klopp is operating busily in the transfer market as he seeks to develop a team capable of challenging for the Premier League title.