Liverpool have reportedly identified Udinese midfielder Rodrigo De Paul as a key target in the summer transfer window, as the Reds plan to freshen things up following a disappointing Premier League title defence during the 2020/21 season.
Jurgen Klopp’s side ran away with the league title during the 2019/20 campaign as they were crowned champions of England for the first time in 30 years, but a spate of injuries and a downturn in form has put paid to their title defence.
With Georginio Wijnaldum poised to depart the club for nothing at the end of June following the expiration of his contract, another central midfield addition will likely be a priority for the Reds in a potential summer rebuild.
The Argentinian midfielder – a target of Premier League rivals Leeds during the 2020 window – will demand a substantial transfer fee, with Udinese holding out for at least €40m if they are to part company with their talisman. De Paul put pen to paper on a new contract with the Serie A outfit in 2019, with his current deal running until 2024.
The report states that the 26-year-old would be open to the ‘irresistible’ move due to his desire to play Champions League football, although Liverpool do currently have a fight on their hands if they are to finish in the top four this season. Udinese would also be open to the move should the Reds meet their asking price
Liverpool have been affected by the financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic, with their economic situation cited as the reason for not attempting to sign long-term target Timo Werner in the summer and their refusal to spend big on defensive reinforcements in January, so whether they would be prepared to pay €40m for de Paul remains to be seen.