Soccer

Liverpool keen to agree four new contracts as Julian Ward put on new transfer mission

Liverpool's 2022-23 Premier League fixtures

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Liverpool are reportedly ready to hand new long-term contracts to four members of Jurgen Klopp’s squad. The Reds have spent most of the summer so far dealing with the arrival of Darwin Nunez and the impending departure of Sadio Mane.

But their attention is now turning to players currently at the club who they can tie down to long-term deals. According to The Mirror, talks are planned with Diogo Jota, Naby Keita, Harvey Elliott and Joe Gomez about new contracts.

Keita’s contract would appear to be the most pressing to sort out, given the midfielder will see his current deal expire next year. Gomez’s contract runs out in two years’ time, but he is seen as likely being the ‘most problematic’ negotiation.

The Englishman had emerged as Virgil van Dijk’s main partner at centre-back in Klopp’s side. But he suffered a serious knee injury in November 2020, which saw him slip behind Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate in the pecking order.

Convincing him to stay could prove to be difficult if his opportunities continue to be restricted, although he can rival Trent Alexander-Arnold for the right-back spot. On the other hand, talks with Elliott and Jota should progress more smoothly, with both players still having at least three years to run on their current deals.

Having made two signings and with a move for Calvin Ramsey close to completion, Liverpool’s business this summer is all but done. The report states that sporting director Julian Ward has now been put on a mission to find a new central midfielder to target in next summer’s window.

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Boss Klopp has given Ward a clear set of requirements that he is looking for from a player in that position. The German has tasked his sporting director with finding a ‘young, multi-functional’ player who has both technique and athleticism.

Jude Bellingham is an early target, but he will not be sold by Borussia Dortmund until at least next summer. For now, the Reds are happy to continue with their current corps of midfielders, but are hopeful of putting themselves in ‘pole position’ to bring in a new face next year.

It is unclear who is being viewed as a cheaper alternative to Bellingham with the task for Ward to list up a few potential options for the summer of 2023.

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