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Hammer blow for Liverpool as Barcelona find way to sign Wijnaldum replacement despite financial woes

Barcelona have reportedly found a way to sign top Liverpool midfield target Renato Sanches this summer, despite their desperate financial concerns.

The Lille midfielder, who resurrected his career in France after struggling at Bayern Munich, emerged as one of Jurgen Klopp’s top targets after Gini Wijnaldum quit Anfield for a free transfer switch to French giants Paris Saint-Germain.

Sanches’ performances for Portugal at Euro 2020 only heightened speculation of a move to Merseyside.

Sportitalia reporter Rudy Galetti claimed that the Reds were at the front of the queue for his signature. However, Le10Sport now states that Barca are also in the running, despite a move being unlikely due to money troubles.

Major financial issues at the Nou Camp have forced the Catalan giants to change their transfer strategy. However, they were able to keep superstar Lionel Messi on a reduced salary.

Fichajes now claims that Barca have put a proposal to Lille to sign the player on an initial loan. There would then be a mandatory option to buy at a later date – when they are in better financial shape.

The report, however, does go on to state that Barca will only move for Sanches if a deal for Saul Niguez falls through.

Nou Camp bosses are currently trying to negotiate a swap deal involving Antoine Griezmann for Saul, who has also been linked with the Reds.

All Anfield eyes will now be on that potential transfer, as they could miss out on two top targets.

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Liverpool linked with unlikely centre-back swoop

Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp would be interested in signing Pau Torres for Liverpool, according to a fanciful report.

Liverpool have already strengthened their defence this summer with the addition of Ibrahima Konate. Therefore, their need for another centre-back does not seem too great. However, Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez may not be available for the first few weeks of the season, despite both being close to a return from injury.

It seems to be a short-term issue, as they shouldn’t miss too many games. But even so, Liverpool are still being linked with some defenders. For example, there have been rumours about interest in Atalanta’s Cristian Romero.

Now, notorious Spanish source Don Balon has claimed that Klopp wants Liverpool to rival Real Madrid for the signing of Torres.

The Villarreal centre-back represented Spain at Euro 2020, a few weeks after winning the Europa League. Villarreal beat Manchester United in the final of that competition, and the runners up have also been tipped to pursue Torres.

However, United’s top target is Raphael Varane of Real Madrid. So, they are unlikely to sign two expensive players in that position.

Torres perfect Van Dijk partner

According to Don Balon, Torres would be an ideal partner for van Dijk at centre-back to form an “insurmountable wall”. It is even claimed that Liverpool have set aside €60m for a potential bid.

Varane’s proposed move to United may in fact accelerate Torres’ situation. Real Madrid would like him as a replacement for the Frenchman, which may be why Liverpool would consider acting now.

Villarreal, for their part, are desperate to keep Torres as they prepare for a campaign that will involve Champions League football. They know he won’t stay forever, but hope to convince him for one more year.

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