“Liverpool Have Decided…” – Paul Gorst On Reds’ Interest In ‘Imposing’ Ace Who Is Set For Move

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With the Euros now entering its ‘business end’, some of the continent’s brightest and best talents have the opportunity to impress on the biggest stage and create their own football history.

Liverpool forward Cody Gakpo has been in great form for the Netherlands and is the joint-top scorer in the competition. New LFC head coach Arne Slot will surely have been impressed by Gakpo’s direct running and goalscoring exploits.

Former Reds target Jude Bellingham spared England an ignominious Round of 16 exit with a stunning last-minute overhead kick. Gareth Southgate’s side now face Switzerland in Saturday’s quarter-final.

The Swiss dumped out defending champions Italy, who have faced heavy criticism at home after a disappointing showing. One of the strongest performers for Gli Azzuri was centre-back Riccardo Calafiori, who was linked with a potential move to Merseyside by Italian football expert James Horncastle.

Arsenal have emerged as favourites to sign the 22-year-old, but at a rumoured fee of around £40 million, should LFC’s transfer committee be doing more to land the Bologna star?

On the latest episode of our Journo Insight show, we asked the Liverpool Echo’s LFC correspondent Paul Gorst for his thoughts on Calafiori.

Why Liverpool Want Anthony Gordon | The Deep Dive

Paul said:

“I don’t think there’s been massive ‘He’s a player who we like.’ I think that’s being driven – a lot of the time – by speculation.

“It came from a line in a James Horncastle piece, and I think he just name-checked [Liverpool] as one of the clubs who were interested.

“It might be a similar situation there to [Anthony] Gordon – not as intense as what’s been reported, but maybe a little check on developments.

“We know Richard Hughes is someone who has real expertise in Italian football. He grew up in Milan and played for Atalanta as a junior and loves Italian football by all accounts. He will be abreast of the development of players in that league.

“[It’s] never really been communicated to me that he’s someone who Liverpool are hugely interested in.

“There was a thing doing the rounds yesterday on Twitter about his injury history, I think from Transfermarkt. That was a real concern for me because Liverpool at the best of times struggles with injuries, don’t they?

“That could be a particularly big red flag for me and that might be why Liverpool have decided that they’re not entering into real negotiations with this one. It does look like Arsenal are winning the race as it stands.”


Redmen Reacts

Following the exit of Joël Matip and with doubts remaining over the fitness record of Ibou Konaté, centre-back looks like a priority area for potential summer spending. His unfortunate own goal against Spain aside, Riccardo Calafiori – who was described as ‘imposing’ by Walter Sabatini – in what was a poor campaign for Italy at the Euros. He looks comfortable on the ball, setting up Mattia Zaccagni’s superb last-minute equaliser against Croatia. Liverpool now have a Serie A connection through sporting director Richard Hughes, who came through the youth ranks at Atalanta and is fluent in Italian. The club should be wary of signing players with a chequered injury history, but given that is seemingly not putting off Arsenal, could the Reds rue losing a potential target to a direct rival?


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