Liverpool can get player Klopp ‘wanted badly’ in Zielinski as Thiago replacement

Liverpool could finally secure Piotr Zielinski’s signature next summer on a free transfer. The Napoli star has so far failed to come to an agreement over a new contract with the Italian giants. 

Jurgen Klopp is said to be a keen admirer of Zielinski and ranked him among his top targets back in 2016. Reports in Italy suggest Klopp will go back in for Zielinski several years later this January to thrash out a pre-contract agreement as he looks to find a replacement for Thiago, who is attracting interest from Juventus and Inter Milan. 

Liverpool were the frontrunners to snap him up in 2016 when he left Udinese following a breakthrough season with the Serie A side but Napoli bid more for the midfielder. In an interview with Polish newspaper Przeglad Sportowy, Zielinski spoke about his meeting with Klopp seven years ago and revealed that the German ‘wanted to sign him badly’.

“I spoke a lot with Konrad Golos and Tomasz Dawidowski – my managers from the agency representing me. Everyone said: ‘Great offer, Klopp wants you, it’s a fairytale in terms of finances’. All fine, but I wasn’t convinced.

“My head was a mess. Liverpool finally got a plane and I met with Jurgen Klopp. He said he wanted me in his team. I saw a different world and after returning my head was even a bigger mess.

“I really wanted to start the preparations for the new season with a new team as soon as possible. I knew that Liverpool wanted me badly and I knew they would return to the talks as I got that promise in January. It didn’t work out for them with Udinese at the end.”

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Zielinski would be a cost-free replacement for Thiago whose contract at Anfield expires in the summer of 2024. While the Pole turns 30 before next season, he could add experience to a youthful midfield and knows what it takes to win after winning Serie A last year.

Once Thiago leaves, the oldest Liverpool central midfielder will be Alexis Mac Allister who turns 25 next month. And given Zielinski is a player Klopp has looked at before, snaring him for nothing would certainly be an attractive prospect.  

The 23/24 home shirt for Liverpool pays homage to the past of the club, as well as collaborator Nike, with a strong 1970s influence. The iconic red, capped with bold white cuffs and collar really does invoke that classic Liverpool FC style while adding a cool retro touch

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