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Liverpool are reportedly leading the way in the chase for Dinamo Zagreb midfielder Ante Coric after his move to Manchester City fell through.
According to Steve Bates of the Sunday People (h/t the Sunday Mirror), City had a £15 million bid for Coric accepted, although the player wasn’t keen to move having been informed of a plan to send him out on loan. Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur are said to be ready to capitalise.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is noted to have “been on the teenager’s trail all summer” and wants to strengthen his options before the window closes on Wednesday.
Coric, just 19, is regarded as one of the best young prospects in European football. Here is a look at why so many elite clubs have been linked with the midfielder:
The teenager is extremely gifted, able to play on either flank or in support of the centre-forward. Coric has excellent balance, a turn of pace and can scythe through opposition defences with his vision on the ball. Football journalist Rafael Hernandez believes a move to City to work under boss Pep Guardiola would be ideal for the youngster:
Manchester City better sign Coric before anyone else does, would be fantastic to see him develop under Pep.— Rafael Hernández (@RafaelH117) August 25, 2016
If Coric did turn down City because they wanted to send him out on loan, it’s clear he’s keen to make a step up in standard immediately. That’s understandable and a key part of his development, but at the Etihad Stadium, White Hart Lane and even Anfield, competition for places in attacking midfield would be fierce.
Liverpool are well stocked in this particular area of the pitch, with stars such as Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane jostling for starting spots. If Coric wants to move to a team for whom he’ll quickly become a key attacking cog, the Reds may not be ideal.
Christian Pulisic Deal Unlikely
According to James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo, Christian Pulisic is likely to remain a Borussia Dortmund player this summer despite interest from Liverpool.
It’s noted in the piece that the Reds offered £11 million for the 17-year-old sensation but that the Bundesliga side are unwilling to do business. Pearce suggested Liverpool are ready to wait for the player, as Klopp “views him as one of the future rather than the present.”
The United States international broke into the BVB side under Thomas Tuchel in 2015-16 and has impressed plenty with some mature performances despite his tender years. Here’s a glimpse at why there is so much hype about Pulisic:
Getting regular minutes at Westfalenstadion this season may be tough for the teenager, especially given Dortmund have added to their attacking options by recruiting the likes of Ousmane Dembele, Andre Schurrle and Mario Gotze this summer.
Nevertheless, journalist Raphael Honigstein suggested Pulisic is looking forward to this season, although he hinted the player could go out on loan:
spoke to Pulisic on Weds,seemed very excited about CL. 4 new AMs will make it harder for him,but don't think BVB want to sell. loan maybe— Raphael Honigstein (@honigstein) August 26, 2016
Tuchel is evidently a fan, and in the appearances he made last term, it was clear Pulisic has something to offer at the highest level already. With that in mind, a move away from Dortmund and the increased expectations that’d be triggered by a big-money transfer may not be ideal so early in his career.
As is the case with Coric, Liverpool don’t seem to be able to cater for any more attacking-midfield players, either. All things considered, Pulisic is in an ideal place to continue his development.