23 May 2016

Transfer Update: Liverpool chase €15m Zagreb sensation who's 'better than Modric'

With the wholly unexciting signing of Lorius Karius set to be completed tomorrow, the underwhelming transfer news continues today with the news that Liverpool are reportedly willing to spend big bucks on yet another untested teenager.

According to Croatian newspaper Sportski Novotni today:

"Liverpool are ready to offer €15m for Dinamo Zagreb attacker Ante Coric. At a meeting with Liverpool officials, Coric's name was mentioned at the top of the list of signings for next season".

Some info about Coric, dubiously hailed as...yes, you've guessed it, the 'Next Messi':

* 19-year old attacking midfielder, whose current contract expires in 2020. At the age of 11, rejected Chelsea, Barcelona and Bayern Munich to link up with Red Bull Salzburg (is he insane?)

* Dinamo Zagreb: 11 goals/15 assists in 80 apps (One every 155 mins). This season: 5 goals/6 assists in 41 apps (One every 211 mins)

* May 2016: Uncapped so far, but named in Croatia's squad for Euro 2016.

* Jan 2016: Number 14 on Gazetta Dello Sport's top 50 European U20 players.

* Feb 2015: Scouting Report from UEFA.com (Strengths): "Great ball control. Smooth dribbling style, creativity and fantastic vision. Speed is another strength. Persistent goal threat".

* Jan 2016: Dinamo Zagreb coach Zoran Mamić raved: "Ante is a treasure for our club. He is a better talent than Luka Modrić and Mateo Kovačić were at his age."

* Jan 2016: DZ President Zdravko Mamić told reporters: "He [Coric] is better than Zvonimir Boban or Robert Prosinečki were at the same stage. I am impressed."

* Apr 2015: When asked about his preferred position, Coric told Gol.hr: "I like to play in the middle, of course offensive, behind the strikers, between the wings. The Number 10 role is my favorite."

* Apr 2015: On his football idol: "Always my role model was Ronaldinho. It's such a pleasure watching him play. He made it all seems to easy, and enjoyed the game."

As unenthused as I am about Liverpool trying to sign another teenager, the deal makes a modicum of sense. With no European football next season, Klopp (arguably) has little chance of signing a proven, top-class number-10 to challenge Coutinho, Lallana, and Firmino. As such, a teenager will - in theory - fit perfectly into the Anfield pecking order.

A good transfer target?

Author: Jaimie K


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