Jurgen Klopp was forced to miss out on his primary transfer target last summer after completing the signing of Mohamed Salah from AS Roma. The German tactician had initially earmarked Bayer Leverkusen winger Julian Brandt as the man to fire Liverpool to silverware last season.
According to the Liverpool Echo, the club’s board favoured a move for the former Chelsea star and with Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho at the club at the time, felt a move for both players was unnecessary.
Klopp was eventually convinced to pass on Brandt and the decision paid off as Salah hit 44 goals in all competitions last season. Outscoring everyone in a phenomenal campaign, Salah inspired Liverpool to a Champions League final and another top-four finish.
The €42m deal proved to be a bargain for the Reds as Liverpool found themselves a new talisman to help alleviate the departure of Coutinho later in the year. Liverpool are now looking for a new forward to complete their fab four and Klopp could reignite his interest in Brandt.
The German scored 12 goals for Bayer Leverkusen last season and earned himself a spot in his nation’s World Cup squad. Despite his country’s emphatic failure at the tournament, Brandt still managed to produce some stellar displays and it’s been enough to convince Liverpool to have another look.
They were thought to have already found a replacement in Nabil Fekir, but a proposed move fell through at the last minute reportedly due to a fitness issue that was highlighted in the player’s medical.
Klopp is also thought to be interested in Stoke City winger Xherdan Shaqiri who is destined to leave after his side were relegated last season. Reports suggest Shaqiri has a release clause in his contract of around £13m which makes him very appealing to the club’s board as they look to bag another bargain.
They face competition from several clubs for Shaqiri’s signature including Merseyside rivals Everton, but so far Liverpool are the only club that could offer Champions League football, which is something that is very appealing to the Swiss winger.
The cut-price Shaqiri deal could mean Klopp misses out on Brandt for a second summer running but for now, Liverpool are keeping their options open, at least until after the stars return from the World Cup.
Shaqiri’s Switzerland face a very winnable round of 16 tie with Sweden on Tuesday, which could set up a quarter-final fixture against Gareth Southgate’s England.