Liverpool have been linked with a move for Barcelona midfielder Ilaix Moriba as manager Jurgen Klopp looks to bolster his first-team squad before the window closes.
According to 90min, the Reds are one of several Premier League clubs to have been offered the 18-year-old’s services this summer, with the rest of England’s traditional ‘Big Six’ also in the mix for his signature.
The report states that West Ham United, Leicester City, Wolves and Everton are also in the running to secure Moriba’s signature after Moriba’s representatives held talks with multiple interested parties after contract negotiations with Barca reached an impasse.
Moriba’s current deal at the Camp Nou has fewer than 12 months to run, and with an agreement over fresh terms yet to be reached, the Catalan giants are believed to be looking for a potential buyer.
Liverpool have been credited with an interest in several central midfielders in recent weeks after Gini Wijnaldum’s departure left a substantial void in the club’s engine room.
A trio of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and James Milner did a solid job against Norwich City on the opening day of the new season in his absence, but Graeme Souness outlined his belief that Klopp needs reinforcements in that area of the pitch after the 3-0 win at Carrow Road.
“I’d like to see Liverpool spending a few bob, but they score goals for fun”, he told Sky Sports (as reported by the Liverpool ECHO).
“I think it was very easy to look at Liverpool and talk about their front three and say how special they were, but I think a lot of their great play came from the three midfield players. (Gini) Wijnaldum’s gone, (Jordan) Henderson’s a year older, James Milner’s a year older.
“I know they’ve got some good kids coming through. I saw them against Osasuna on Monday night, I was up there watching that game. I’d like to see something else in midfield. It’s going to be a long hard season,” Souness concluded.
Bringing in Moriba would be seen as a major coup for the Anfield outfit given his potential and the level of competition for his signature, meaning Klopp would surely love the opportunity to work with such a talented youngster.
Former Barcelona B manager Garcia Pimienta lauded the teenager and Konrad de la Fuente last year after the duo put in an outstanding performance for the reserve side, saying: “Both Ilaix and Konrad have been decisive. Ilaix has a lot of merit because he is a first-year youth, but Konrad is third, and in such an important match they have shown that they have an incredible future.
His natural quality and potential to improve would make Moriba a dream Wijnaldum replacement, but Liverpool will have to see off several domestic rivals for the £22.5m-rated gem to make this deal become a reality.