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March 15, 2017
Bayern Munich have reportedly been in negotiations with Bayer Leverkusen starlet and reported Liverpool target Julian Brandt.
That’s according to Bild (h/t the Liverpool Echo‘s Joe Rimmer), who suggested the winger could leave the BayArena for just €12.5 million (£11 million) due to a clause in his contract. Bayern have reportedly stepped in with a view to signing the 20-year-old in the summer of 2018.
The report says that despite the interest from other parties “the goal of the Bayer executives nevertheless remains to extend Brandt’s contract.”
As noted by the Liverpool Echo, the Germany international is said to be a “top target” for Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp this summer.
Here’s a look at what he can offer:
Although Leverkusen have endured a testing campaign in the main, Brandt has been a bright spark for the team.
Despite his tender years, the youngster has showcased plenty of class from across midfield, chipping in with two goals and six assists in the German top flight this season. His ability on the ball, close control and versatility have seen Brandt talked up as one of the finest prospects in the Bundesliga.
Sports journalist Jack Lusby believes the Leverkusen man would be a fine acquisition for the Reds and a decent fit for Klopp’s system:
Jack Lusby @jacklusby_
Difficult to see past Coutinho, Firmino and Mane as regular starters for the foreseeable, but Brandt is versatile enough to feature heavily.
1/10/2017, 11:16:18 PM
However, Bayern are renowned for snapping up the division’s rising stars, and their interest would potentially scupper any of Liverpool’s transfer plans. After all, Carlo Ancelotti’s side are the most dominant side in Germany and are regularly challenging for the UEFA Champions League.
A move to the champions may not be the best career move for Brandt, though, as Mario Gotze, who joined the club in 2013 as a massive prospect, found out to his detriment. He needs to keep playing and to keep learning if he’s going to reach his potential. At the moment, perhaps Anfield is more catered to those needs.
Marko Grujic Loan Rumours
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Dinamo Zagreb adviser Zdravko Mamic has revealed that he’d be keen to sign Marko Grujic on loan from Liverpool next season having missed out on Andrija Zivkovic from Benfica.
“I wanted to bring [Zivkovic] in from Benfica for €5 million (£4.36 million), but I failed,” he told Blic (h/t Andy Warren of the MailOnline). “Now I want to get [Grujic] from Liverpool on loan.”
Grujic moved to Liverpool in the summer from Red Star Belgrade, although he’s struggled to make an impact in the first team this season. Indeed, injuries have limited the 20-year-old to just five appearances in all competitions so far, with no starts made in the Premier League.
The Serbian international featured in the team’s under-23 side recently, helping them to a 2-0 win over Chelsea in the Premier League 2.
Andy Kelly of the Liverpool Echo was impressed with his efforts:
Andy Kelly @AndyK_LivNews
Marko Grujic passing a real feature of this #LFC display so far. Kev Stewart’s fizzed a couple of crackers too with Trent a regular target
3/13/2017, 7:30:37 PM
Grujic arrived at Liverpool with a big reputation, and from the glimpses we’ve seen of him in English football, it’s easy to see why. The midfielder is combative and aggressive in the middle of the park, although he also possesses great composure on the ball.
In truth, he’s the type of player the Reds have lacked at the base of their midfield for much of the campaign. So while a loan move could potentially be to his benefit in terms of playing time, it’d be no surprise if Klopp looked to utilise the youngster’s attributes more frequently next season.