Barcelona talent Pedri may have kept Liverpool’s Thiago Alcantara out of Spain’s starting XI during Euro 2020 but the pair could link up at Anfield next season, if rumours are to be believed.
Liverpool are putting together possible transfer plans ahead of the new campaign.
As the Reds look to mount a title charge for 2021/22, the midfield department could come under scrutiny and the Barcelona starlet is the latest name to feature on Liverpool’s radar to replace Gini Wijnaldum.
The Spaniard, dubbed the ‘new Andres Iniesta’, has been linked to a £70million switch to Anfield.
But Liverpool fans descended into confusion once again on Friday when Thiago didn’t feature in Spain’s starting lineup for the fifth time in this summer’s tournament.
Barcelona prodigy Pedri has arguably been the key factor in pushing the Liverpool midfielder to the bench after gaining the trust of Luis Enrique as he emerged as the new talent of La Seleccion.
However, the situation has not soured the relationship between the two midfielders as Thiago praised his fellow countryman in the Guardian, branding him an old school talent.
“Pedri’s an example of that old talent. Everything is natural. He sees football the same way he has since he was very little,” he said.
Speaking on the Wrighty’s House Podcast, Ian Wright was the latest to show admiration for the wonderkid’s Euros display.
“Pedri is awesome, he is awesome. I said that he came from La Masia, but he actually came from Las Palmas for £5m, he is fabulous, he is a fabulous footballer,” Wright said.
The Reds have been in contact with the player’s agents and there is an interest in adding him to Jurgen Klopp’s engine room, according to reports in some quarters.
Similarly to fellow spaniard Thiago, the 18-year-old would provide a technically gifted option for Klopp to call upon.
His incisive passing and clever movement make him most effective in the final third – an area in which Liverpool’s front line stalled on occasion last season.
A real threat in the box, Pedri could help plug the creative void left in the Red’s midfield.
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The youngster’s hard work and pressing make him a constant nuisance for defenders, a quality Klopp regularly looks for in his players.
While £70million seems expensive for a young player, at just 18 there is plenty of chance for the teenager to develop and improve which could pay off for Liverpool in the future.
However, apparent transfer interest has panicked Barcelona into negotiating a new deal with the player, whose contract at the Nou Camp is set to expire in 2022.
The Blaugrana don’t appear to be ready to let their prized asset leave so soon and their plans to keep Pedri at the club involve a new contract with a huge release clause attached.
Suitors would have to move swiftly to secure the Spaniard this summer before his price tag escalates to the bank-busting figure – and Barcelona’s financial difficulties could be the key.
The club has amassed a crippling debt believed to be more than €1billion which reportedly forced president Joan Laporta to put a staggering 18 players up for sale, including former Red Philippe Coutinho.
Although Pedri doesn’t feature on the list of names on the market, his sale could offer Barcelona the opportunity to attract a significant cash sum.
Laporta could be willing to let Pedri leave this summer in exchange for £70million as mountainous debts prevent the renewal of new free agent Lionel Messi’s contract.
Barcelona paid just €5million to Las Palmas for the midfielder but that figure could rise five-fold.
The fee could increase to €25million if certain clauses are triggered – the first of which is close to being fulfilled with the minimum number of games objective met.
Pedri’s sale would not only generates greatly-needed funds for the club but also offer the chance to avoid forking out another €20million for the youngster.
While Liverpool may not be able to enter the market at £70million, it could prove a solid investment if they can force Barcelona’s hand.