Liverpool are not expected to be busy in the summer transfer market with the club reportedly ‘unlikely to make any major signings’ in the close season.
The financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic is likely to hugely affect the spending ability of leading clubs during the summer transfer window, with the Premier League leaders amongst the sides set to take a cautious approach to potential additions.
The footballing landscape has dramatically changed in the wake of the sport’s suspension amid the Covid-19 crisis, Premier League sides currently without match-day revenue and facing the prospect of rebates to international and domestic broadcasters.
Season tickets for the remainder of the campaign will also be refunded as football prepares to return behind-closed-doors, with no guarantees that fans will be able to return to stadiums next season – match-day revenue worth around £84m to the Merseyside club per season.
According to the highly respected James Pearce of The Athletic, the uncertainty surrounding football’s immediate future means that ‘major’ transfer activity at Anfield is ‘unlikely’ this summer, including the club’s well-documented interest in RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner.
Jurgen Klopp and sporting director Michael Edwards had identified the Germany international as an ideal signing to bolster the club’s attacking options this summer, Werner having scored 27 goals in all competitions for the Bundesliga side this season.
The 24-year-old has publicly spoken of his interest in pursuing a move to the Reds and is believed to have his heart set on a move to Liverpool, despite reported interest from Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester United.
Werner’s pace and goal threat seem ideally suited to Klopp’s style and system, whilst the mid-season Africa Cup of Nations next term – which will likely see the club lose Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita to international duty – further enhances the club’s need to add to their forward threat.
Possessing a release clause of £53.7m which can be triggered next month, Werner seemed destined for Liverpool this summer but those plans now appear to be on hold.
The Athletic reported last week that Werner either wanted to join Liverpool this summer or remain with Leipzig and ‘revisit the matter in 2021’, however, and Klopp has previously shown a willingness to wait for his preferred targets during deals to sign both Virgil van Dijk and Keita.
According to the report, the forward’s release clause drops to just €40m next summer, which could also lead Leipzig into compromising and accepting a reduced offer should the Reds firm up their interest.
Much may depend on funds raised from player sales, though the significant offers expected for the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri, Harry Wilson and Marko Grujic now seem unlikely in the current climate.
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