Liverpool are keeping a close eye on Real Betis midfielder Guido Rodriguez, who has been identified as a potential replacement for Dutchman Georginio Wijnaldum.
Wijnaldum is approaching the end of his contract at Anfield and is believed to have struck a pre-contract agreement to move to Barcelona on a free transfer this summer, although Liverpool have insisted they do not know anything of such a move.
Regardless of whether Wijnaldum’s future is wrapped up or not, he’s obviously closing in on the exit door as it stands, and that may mean Liverpool need to find themselves a replacement next summer.
According to Estadio Deportivo, one player in their sights is 26-year-old Rodriguez. Club scouts are said to have ‘followed up’ on Rodriguez (whatever that means) and see him as a potential new face in midfield if needed.
It’s said that Betis find themselves needing to offload a handful of players this summer to balance their books, and a number of teams across Europe are circling like vultures.
Liverpool are credited with a continued interest in centre-back Aissa Mandi, who is close to signing a new contract, but while scouts have been watching the Algerian, they appear to have taken a liking to Rodriguez, whom Mundo Deportivo note is also on Arsenal‘s radar.
There’s no mention of how much Rodriguez would cost. He comes with a release clause of around £69m, but Betis are obviously not going to get that kind of money for him in the current financial climate.
It’s a little bit of a strange one. Rodriguez has impressed this season, but he’s far more defensive than Wijnaldum, whose do-it-all style has endeared him to manager Jurgen Klopp and the Liverpool fanbase. If he does come in, he’s hardly a direct replacement for Wijnaldum.
It’s likely that Liverpool scouts have been out tracking Mandi and have been fairly impressed with Rodriguez, but they have probably just added him to an extensive list of potential targets ahead of the summer.
At the minute, it’s not yet known whether Wijnaldum will stay or go. Barcelona‘s interest has cooled somewhat since news of his agreement first broke, and Liverpool won’t be diving into the transfer market until they have a final answer.