Liverpool’s transfer plans may have suffered a major blow after it was revealed that Tottenham Hotspur have entered the race to sign AS Roma midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini.
What’s the story?
Spurs are currently searching for a new manager after Jose Mourinho’s dismissal back in April, with The Telegraph reporting that Paulo Fonseca is set to be appointed on a two-year deal.
And his arrival in north London could spell bad news for the Reds. Italian outlet La Repubblica claim that the former Roma boss wants to bring Pellegrini with him to the Premier League, denting Liverpool’s hopes of securing the 24-year-old’s signature.
Klopp will be gutted
The Italy international is thought to have a rather modest £25.8 million release clause inserted into his current contract with the capital club, making him a realistic target for Jurgen Klopp this summer.
Pellegrini has been linked with a move to Anfield in recent weeks as the 19-time English champions step up their search for Gini Wijnaldum’s successor.
However, after impressing throughout last season following a string of standout displays, bagging 11 goals, and providing nine assists, it appears as though Liverpool will now face competition for his services, and it will be from the manager under whom Pellegrini had great success last season.
The box-to-box beast has been a key figure at the Stadio Olimpico for many years now despite his tender age, with Roma legend Francesco Totti lauding the youngster back in 2019.
“I am not surprised by the development of Pellegrini. As I always know Lorenzo is a phenomenal player. Now, everything depends on him to continue to be at this level,” said Totti.
Granit Xhaka’s expected imminent arrival in Serie A, combined with the fact that Pellegrini only has one year remaining on his contract at his boyhood club, means an exit is likely to occur over the coming months.
But news that Liverpool may face competition from Fonseca could impact the Reds’ chances of getting a deal done.
Klopp is attempting to rebuild his first-team squad on a limited budget after a disappointing 2020/21 campaign, and picking up Pellegrini for a little over £25m would represent a real bargain in the modern era, but getting a deal done may not be so easy if Spurs do enter the running.
Even so, Michael Edwards, Klopp and the rest of the Liverpool hierarchy must do all they can to bring the Italian in this summer as he looks to be an ideal replacement for the outgoing Gini Wijnaldum, especially for such a reasonable transfer fee as £25.8 million.