Liverpool missing out on £38m star admired by Klopp now makes sense
Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp receives the freedom of the city
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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp may feel as if he dodged a bullet by missing out on a move for Wolves midfielder Matheus Nunes over the course of the summer transfer window. Nunes ended up joining the Molineux club from Sporting in a deal worth around £39.1million but was heavily linked with Liverpool before making the switch to the west Midlands.
The Reds were on the lookout for a new central midfielder and went on to land Arthur Melo on a season-long loan deal from Juventus just hours before the end of the window. Although the latter has failed to impress during his time at Anfield thus far and is currently sidelined with a long-term injury, it seems as though Liverpool will be thankful of the fact they did not bring Nunes to the club after all.
Nunes originally arrived at Wolves to play in central midfield but has since moved into a more advanced position just behind their forward line. Those in power at Molineux are said to be concerned about the Portuguese midfielder’s defensive shortcomings, which has led to a reluctance to deploy him in his natural role, according to The Athletic.
The 24-year-old is still young and has plenty of time to fine-tune his skills when out of possession over the coming years, but his situation at Wolves suggests that Liverpool had an inkling that he would not have been able to thrive in a box-to-box midfield role on Merseyside. He would have had to come up against Fabinho for a starting spot in the engine room, while the Reds already have plenty of options to choose from in the attacking midfield position, with Fabio Carvalho having joined from Fulham over the summer and Harvey Elliott having returned from his loan spell at Blackburn Rovers at the end of last season.
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There are plenty of other players out there with the ability to suit Liverpool’s needs in a better way than Nunes, although it remains to be seen who they will decide to target in order to improve their squad before next season gets underway. The six-time European champions were credited with a keen interest in a move for Aurelien Tchouameni over the summer, but were ultimately beaten to his signature by Real Madrid in spite of their best efforts to snap him up.
Liverpool have since been tipped to mount a big-money approach to land Jude Bellingham, who is widely expected to leave Borussia Dortmund for bigger and better things at the end of the season. He was targeted by Liverpool as a youth player back in 2012 before he eventually opted to continue his development at Birmingham City, but talk of a move to Anfield has resurfaced since the 19-year-old’s emergence as one of the best young players in Europe.
Bellingham is known to be keenly admired by Liverpool boss Klopp, who has previously hinted at an interest in bringing him to the club if the opportunity arises. Former Reds striker Peter Crouch recently insisted that Bellingham would be the perfect target for his old club in yet another hint that Nunes was never the right signing for them, with the Merseyside giants able to benefit from the capture of a defensively sound player in the middle of the park.
“Liverpool feel like they are due a big one, and you’re possibly looking at something extra in midfield,” said Crouch when quizzed on the possibility of Liverpool striking a deal to land the Dortmund ace. “Jude Bellingham would fit in perfectly, as long as it is not to the detriment of Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones, who have suffered cruel luck with injuries. It’s not been a settled midfield for a while and those places are up for grabs.”
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