19 Mar 2017

Klopp to Sign? Liverpool Reps fly out to watch 'outstanding' €40m international powerhouse

Liverpool are once again being linked with a summer move for one of Serie A's most coveted central defenders.

In January, reports in Italy claimed that Jurgen Klopp had his eye on 'outstanding' Roma star Kostas Manolas, and according to The Mirror this weekend:

"Liverpool are hot on the trail of Roma star Kostas Manolas. Jurgen Klopp dispatched one of his top scouts to check on him in the Europa League on Thursday, and he was impressed".

Some info about Manolas:

* 25-year old centre-back. Contract expires: 2019.

* Roma: 120 apps. 27 apps for the Greece national team.

* Missed only 8 games through injury for his entire career.

* Scouting Report (Strengths): "Excellent all-round defender. Speed to keep track of quicker attackers. Strength to battle physical opponents. Assertive and attentive, never neglecting his defensive duties".

* Scouting Report (Weaknesses): "Occasionally suffers lapses in concentration, although that is an issue which blighted Roma’s defence long before he arrived".

* Aug 2014: On his playing style: "I'm fast and strong physically. I'm a good tackler and I can read opposition attacks well".

* Apr 2016: Radja Nainggolan's assessment: "If Manolas uses his brain, he can become one of the best in the world. The problem is he doesn’t use it!”

Hmmm. A defender prone to 'concentration lapses' who doesn't use his 'brain' on the field? Liverpool already have several players in the squad who fit this description. The transfer fee may also be prohibitive. In January, Manolas's agent told reporters:

"Roma refused an almost €40m offer from Arsenal in the summer. The Gunners were really interested, but Roma's demands exceeded what they were willing to pay".

When it comes to defensive players, Klopp usually shops in the footballing version of the Dollar Store (especially at Liverpool), so I can't see him spending €40m+ on a central defender.


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