Liverpool transfer news: Alexander-Arnold, Malen & more

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Trent Alexander-Arnold has been linked with Real Madrid, with my fellow columnists on here, Fabrizio Romano and Matteo Moretto providing some insight into the Spanish giants monitoring his contract situation at Liverpool.

I personally think it is highly unlikely that Trent Alexander-Arnold will leave Liverpool this summer, but of course the longer his new contract remains unsigned, the more you start to wonder. He is due to enter his final year in June, and from the club’s perspective, that is not a situation you want to be in with regards to one of your star players.

I’m not surprised to see Real Madrid linked. They are a club that makes a habit of targeting the best players in the world, and Alexander-Arnold is certainly one of those. As far as I’m aware, it’s no more than a ‘watching with interest’ situation, as opposed to bids, offers etc, but certainly the sooner Liverpool get Alexander-Arnold tied down to a new deal, the sooner those stories can be put to bed.

He’s such an important player for the Reds, and a symbol of Liverpool as a club too. He is, like Steven Gerrard previously, the home-grown star who represents both the city and the club. He’s the vice-captain, and primed to take over from Virgil van Dijk as skipper one day, and on top of that, he’s a world-class performer who makes a huge difference to the team. At 25, Liverpool would be mad to consider selling him, and I fully expect that with Michael Edwards and Richard Hughes now in place on the football administration side, a new deal will be finalised.

Xabi Alonso to Liverpool?

The situation regarding Xabi Alonso remains unchanged for now as far as I’m aware; there has been no indication of what he wants to do in the summer as his focus remains very much on Bayer Leverkusen and what could be an incredible end to the season.

German reports suggest that Bayern Munich is his favoured destination, but Alonso and his camp have been very quiet and until there is any clarity from their side, I think it’s a case of wait and see.

What is clear, as said previously, is that he is going to have at least three options to choose from this summer. Not a bad place for any young manager to be in!

If Alonso is not available, one thing is for certain now that Michael Edwards is in place as Fenway Sports Group’s CEO of football; Liverpool will do extensive research before appointing their next manager.

Edwards has always championed a data-driven approach to recruitment, and that will certainly be the case with finding Jurgen Klopp’s successor. Liverpool’s research team, led by Will Spearman, have already been hard at work, and there will already have been a whittling-down of contenders.

In terms of names, it should not surprise you to learn that Ruben Amorim is well thought of within Liverpool, and Roberto De Zerbi is another strong contender. De Zerbi would have been in contention to take over at Bournemouth in 2022 when Richard Hughes was technical director, but for a change in ownership at the Cherries, and Hughes is a known fanatic of Italian football and Italian methodology.

Edwards and Hughes also have strong relationships with both Eddie Howe and Gary O’Neil, but I don’t expect either of those two to come into contention for the role this summer. If O’Neil were to continue impressing at Wolves, however, then I wouldn’t rule out the idea of him coming onto Liverpool’s radar in the future.

Donyell Malen has been linked with Liverpool, but how likely is a move for the Borussia Dortmund forward, who has also been linked at times with the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal?

I think when we talk about potential signings at Liverpool this summer, we have to acknowledge that much will be dictated by the managerial appointment. As such, confirming concrete ‘targets’ is difficult at this moment.

What we do know is that Malen was looked at previously, when at PSV Eindhoven, and not followed up on. He’s done OK at Dortmund since, nothing more, and while he fits Liverpool’s profile in terms of age and experience, I’d be sceptical as to whether he’s of the quality required to improve a pretty well-stocked attack.

Me personally? I feel there is room for another attacker at Liverpool this summer, even if Mohamed Salah remains – and there’s a decent chance of that, by the way. I still feel they lack a little bit of searing pace, particularly out wide, and I wonder if that might be an area they look at in this window. They have some talented young players emerging, such as Ben Doak, Kaide Gordon and Jayden Danns, but I think there is room for another senior forward in the squad, and even more so if Salah – or Luis Diaz, who has been linked with PSG – were to leave.

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