Liverpool enter discussions for Bayern’s Gravenberch

A transfer window filled with frustration could end on a more positive note for Liverpool, after it has been reported that official talks are now ongoing between the Merseyside club and the Bavarian giants.  

The Merseysiders have always prided themselves on their ability to forward plan, in terms of transfer windows, mapping what will happen – both incoming and outgoing. This summer has gone very much against the norm for the Liverpool management team, with the emergence and investment of Saudi football catching Liverpool off guard.

Club captain Jordan Henderson and midfield anchor Fabinho followed the wealth of the Saudi League, with the pair both being offered ludicrous contracts in comparison to anything they would likely receive in Europe. This left the club with a situation – and one that required a desperate reaction.   

The midfield had long been an area of concern for Liverpool, especially given the club failed to strengthen it last summer. Whilst that is not entirely to blame, the club likely regretted the decision following a poor campaign.

The loss of Fabinho, especially, left a huge void – and one that couldn’t be ignored. Klopp’s system is demanding of a strong six, further highlighted on the opening day of the campaign against Chelsea. Liverpool needed a response and quickly, as a poor start to the season would not be acceptable again. The club had already lost out on two primary targets in the shape of Romeo Lavia and Moises Caicedo, both to Chelsea in the most public of fashion – meaning Klopp and his team would need to go back to the drawing board. 

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Ultimately, the manager and his current Sporting Director, Jorge Schmadtke, pulled on their expansive Bundesliga knowledge – this time quietly and behind closed doors – working on a deal with VfB Stuttgart for the acquisition of Wataru Endō. The thirty-year-old is a versatile midfielder, capable of playing at centre-back should he be required to do so, but more importantly he is the definition of a specialist number 6. 

The signing was greeted with a mixed reception, with a large portion of supporters concerned at his lack of profile or exposure to the wider market. However, reports from various media outlets in Germany suggested that Liverpool had made a very shrewd buy. 

Endo’s arrival bought the club time – a luxury they had not been afforded since the departure of Fabinho. The glaring issue had now been addressed, however the club were actively still looking to add a further multifunctional midfielder and a left-sided centre-back. A shortlist was in place, and internal talks had been held as to who would be financially viable, and of a fitting profile. Two primary targets emerged: Crystal Palace’s Cheick Doucoure and Bayern Munich’s Ryan Gravenberch.  

As reported last week, it is understood that talks had occurred with the representatives of the Palace star, however no formal discussions had taken place with the London-based club. Liverpool had, however, registered their interest with Bayern for Gravenberch. 

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Time has continued to pass, with the Liverpool supporters growing further frustrated at the lack of incomings – some seemingly taking to scouting alternative options and suggestions on the club’s behalf. Tonight though, it has been reported by both The Athletic‘s David Ornstein and Paul Joyce of The Times that talks have now started between both Liverpool and Bayern Munich over the transfer of Gravenberch. 

It is understood that as of this moment, no official bid is in place – but talks are being had to ascertain what financial package is expected by the German giants. Should this be deemed acceptable, it is likely to be followed by a formal offer. The Dutchman is reportedly keen on a move to Anfield, and hopes to get his move, though Bayern do want assurance that a replacement will be in place. 

It will be a very interesting final 48 hours of the transfer window for Liverpool. It is our understanding that they are still open to the possibility of adding a centre-back, with Per Schuurs possibly being re-visited.