Sports Xtra

Paper Talk: Liverpool to trigger €45m exit clause for ex-Man Utd target; new Barcelona swoop hits hurdle
Kevin Strootman

Paper Talk: Liverpool to trigger €45m exit clause for ex-Man Utd target; new Barcelona swoop hits hurdle

Written by Gideon Sarpong


Liverpool are set to spring something of a transfer shock by swooping for Kevin Strootman, according to reports in Italy.

Fresh from selling Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona for a fee that could reach £142million, the Reds are in no mood to rest on their laurels with R.IT Sports, via Calciomercato, claiming Jurgen Klopp is ready to activate the €45million buyout clause in Strootman’s contract.

Although nothing is confirmed at this stage, the news will come as something of a surprise given the player has long been linked with a move for Manchester United, and in particular, during Louis van Gaal’s time in charge.

The Holland midfielder, however, has struggled with injuries during his time in Serie A, having only made 108 appearances during his five seasons with the Giallarosi.

But with Emre Can looking increasingly likely to leave the club on a free transfer at the end of the season, Klopp needs a solid midfielder to come into the midfield to compliment and provide cover for incoming arrival Naby Keita.

Liverpool have already poached Roma over the past six months with Mohamed Salah arriving for £36.9million.


Yerry Mina’s move to Barcelona has been held up after Palmerias demanded €12m, rather than the €9m the La Liga side have offered (Mundo Deportivo)

Mauro Icardi’s wife and agent has denied reports that Real Madrid are close to signing the £120m-rated Inter Milan striker after putting him through a medical (Mediaset Premium)

Pep Guardiola has identified Fred as the long-term successor to Fernandinho, with Manchester City beginning talks to bring the Shakhtar Donetsk star to the Etihad in a £30m deal (various)

Inter Milan are favourites to land Daley Blind from Manchester United this month, with the Red Devils prepared to sell the Dutchman for the right price (La Repubblica)

Manchester United are expected to beat Chelsea and Manchester City and activate the £21m exit clause in Lorenzo Pellegrini’s Roma contract

Nantes coach Claudio Ranieri has confirmed he would be interested in PSG forward Lucas Moura, who is also a target for Manchester United (Le Parisien)

Barcelona’s signing of Philippe Coutinho could push Ivan Rakitic out of the door at the Camp Nou (Diario Gol)

Leganes have told West Ham their £5.5m offer for Gabriel Pires is not enough and they now value the player at nearer €20m (Marca)

Sevilla are confident on a loan deal for Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi in January but must wait for the Premier League club to find a replacement striker (El Desmarque)

Borussia Monchengladbach sporting director Max Eberl says “there is absolutely no reason” for the club to sell Arsenal and Tottenham target Jannik Vestergaard (Bild)

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez was not happy at all with Zinedine Zidane publicly questioning need to sign Athletic Bilbao keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga (El Transistor)

Newcastle have told Anderlecht and Celtic they have no chance of signing defender Chancel Mbemba (Het Laatste Nieuws)

Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim has given Liverpool and Arsenal hope of a £90m January deal for Thomas Lemar (L’Equipe)

Inter Milan are close to signing Gerard Deulofeu from Barcelona – with the Serie A side hoping to talk the La Liga giants into accepting a loan approach (Corriere dello Sport)

Juventus have ruled out selling €150m man Paulo Dybala this month. The Argentine is a reported target for PSG, Real Madrid and Manchester United (Tuttosport)

Everton have had a change of heart and will now no longer sell forward Sandro Ramirez this month. Celta Vigo had been keen but now say they have been told he’s not for sale (AS)

Alexandre Pato has refused to rule out a future return to AC Milan (Calciomercato)