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Alternative Keita Targets: Who LFC should look at if the deal falls through.   With RB Leipzig taking a firm stance in the Naby Keita negotiations and with no plan B in sight, Liverpool could be left with nothing if things continue the way they are. Therefore, I have decided to take it upon myself to draw up a list of backup targets, should the deal fall though.   Kovacic Age: 23                                      Value: 21.8m (buy-out clause, Bleacher Report) Team: Real Madrid             Nationality: Croatia   The young Serbian was rated highly during his time at Inter Milan but has struggled to make an impact at Real Madrid, only getting 19 starts last season. He would present another attacking midfield option for Liverpool in the midfield, similar to Lallana and Winjaldum. His strengths are his pace and his dribbling ability. He loves to take the ball from deep and dribble though the middle of the park, one-two here and there and producing a key pass to a forward player. In terms of availability, Real Madrid are reportedly open to sell the midfielder and he has a buyout clause of 21.8m (euros). If that is true, then in that case he would represent great value in this transfer market in particular. Potentially freeing up some of the budget for another signing, perhaps Oxlade-Chamberlain?     Goretzka Age:22                                       Value: 19.55m (transfermarkt) Team: Schalke 04                Nationality: German Goretzka is the most like for like replacement for Keita in this list, as he provides a more defensive option. However he does lack the penetration and dribbling of the Guinean going forward. He would be going into the midfield in a more defensive position, providing competition for Emre Can and with Lucas Leiva leaving for Lazio, we are looking lacking in that department. Goretzka is one of a number of young Germans to come though the Schalke youth system. Max Mayer and Kolasniac also making an impression. Any valuation for players estimated by Transfermarkt need to be taken with a pinch of salt in this window, with all the mad transfer fees being thrown about. However they seem to rate him at £19.55m. He had been supposedly offered a lucrative four-year deal from Schalke worth a reported 7m (euros) per year. From that you can infer that he is potentially looking for a move in the no-to distant future. Big premier league clubs have been linked with the German, including Man City and Arsenal but the player is likely to be waiting it out as he expects to be playing for Bayern Munich next season.       Milinkovic-Savic Age:21                                       Value: £18.7m (transfermarkt) Team: Lazio                            Nationality: Serbia Milinkovic-Savic is a player that we have already been linked with this transfer window, so there may already be interested in this option. The 6ft4 Serbian midfielder plays in centre midfield and again is a more defensive option then what Keita would be. Milinkovic-Savic’s main strength comes from his aerial prowess and his ability to win aerial duels and it stands him apart from the other available options on this list. However, his main weakness is that he is not as proficient in passing the ball then most players. According to Transfermkt he is valued at £18.7million (expect that to be larger) and because of the reported interest that Liverpool have had in him already this window makes this option a likely one that Liverpool may execute. However, that all depends on how reliable the link was. It may have just been general paper chatter.     Lewis Cook Age:20                                       Value: £5.1m  (transfermarkt) Team: Bournemouth        Nationality: England Lewis Cook is the youngest member of this list and he does tick all the boxes for a classic money-ball deal move over Brad Pitt. Young and English and full of potential. The Englishman likes to shoot from distance and dribble past opponent. He is not the finished article by any means as he only managed 431 minutes for Bournemouth last season. He would be more of a replacement in the squad for Kev Stewart then a first team regular. Lewis Cook would be a cheap option, being valued at £5.1m on transfermarkt and absolutely nails all the FSG scouting criteria. Personally, I would not want this option as he has not yet proved himself at Bournemouth let alone Liverpool. You can’t help but see potential in it, or something similar happening though with the transfer committee splashing out £30m on him. The twitter fume would be incredible, poor Paul Joyce.
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