Liverpool are yet again planning to wrap up a deal for Poland midfielder Piotr Zielinski. The 22-year-old was constantly linked with a move to Merseyside in the 2015-16 campaign and there were ongoing talks between the player and Jurgen Klopp but things were declared dead when Napoli agreed to Udinese’s asking price of £13 million.
In August, Udinese President Fabrizio Corsi stated that the Liverpool boss had been ‘talking to Zielinski since January”, and soon after, Zielinski spoke with Sportowefakty (h/t football-Italia):
“With Liverpool, there were talks but it didn’t happen, but I’m happy to be at Napoli. [My £60 release clause] is impressive. This means that Napoli expect good games from me”.
Soon after, the Napoli midfielder explained further about the collapsed deal with Liverpool:
“Everyone said: ‘Great offer, Klopp wants you, it’s a fairytale in terms of finances’. All fine, but I wasn’t convinced. I met with Klopp. He said he wanted me in his team, and after returning, my head was even a bigger mess. Liverpool wanted me badly, but it didn’t work out.”
Back then, some weren’t happy with Liverpool’s £12 million offer that was rejected at once. While the remaining said he isn’t going to be an influential player for the club and showed no signs of upset the deal did not go through.
However, Zielinski has been reaping up positive reviews with the Italian outfit this season, contributing two goals and six assists so far. After 23 matches played, Napoli sits 3rd in the league table and a Champions League spot is certainly on the cards. His instant impact has also seen a meteoric rise in his value. Italian newspaper Il Mattino (via Star Sport) writes that the Polish international has a jaw-dropping £60 million release clause. Besides, the waiting for the contract to expire approach is not an option, as he has four-and-a-half years left to run.
The mammoth clause is not the only obstacle in Liverpool’s efforts as they also face stiff competition from European giants Real Madrid and Chelsea. Both clubs are currently sitting pretty at the peak of their respective leagues. With Zielinski commenting that “All fine, but I wasn’t convinced” earlier, it seems to be Liverpool’s exclusion from Champions League football was the major blot for him.
Zielinski is nimble, navigates through the midfield with guile and graft and looks dangerous when running into shooting positions. With Emre Can and Georginio Wijnaldum struggling to stock up their goals and assists account, it does make sense why Klopp is still keen to knot Zielinski into his midfield ranks. Besides that, Can has not penned a contract extension with the Merseyside club. Despite Klopp claiming that it was due to his ongoing injury and nothing to do with his poor run of form, there is an air of scepticism.
Bearing in mind, Klopp’s frugal approach to transfers, splashing £60 million for a single player, who isn’t on par with the huge value, makes this a comical talk.
The fans will be more than happy if the Reds continue to make efforts to pry Mahmoud Dahoud away from Borussia Monchengladbach. And use the coffer’s remainder to overhaul other key areas of the team.
Do you think Liverpool should go all over to sign Zielinski?