Football

Liverpool pursue €80m Argentine, described as ‘more defensive’ than Wijnaldum

Liverpool have made enquiries for Real Betis midfielder Guido Rodriguez, according to a report in Spain.

Georginio Wijnaldum’s time at Anfield looks all but up, with a free-transfer switch to Barcelona in the offing. The Dutch midfielder was quizzed about his future on international duty on Wednesday and has again claimed their was “no news”. The 30-year-old has continually put the ball in the court of the champions, but an agreement on a new deal has not materialised.

The Reds are looking around for a replacement and the latest name in the frame is 26-year-old Rodriguez.

Estadio Deportivo, via Sport Witness report the Reds have “followed up” on the Argentine in case Wijnaldum leaves. The holding midfielder is described as “more defensive” than Wijnaldum.

Rodriguez only arrived in Spain in January 2020 for 3m from Mexican club America. However, he has quickly become the mainstay of Manuel Pellegrini’s side.

The Mexican outfit do have a 25% sell on clause on the player after Betis took advantage of his contractual situation in 2020.

Rodriguez was linked to Arsenal on Tuesday with El Mundo Deportivo suggesting the Gunners will “push hard” for the 10-cap Argentina international.

 

 

He has been watched by Arsenal scouts on numerous occasions, but is under contract until 2024. He also has a termination clause of 80m, per the source.

Betis are said to be calm, but are understood to be willing to cash in on the player this summer. El Mundo report that Betis are are “obliged” to sell on one of their stars to balance their books in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Seville-based side will be more than happy to enter an auction for Rodriguez, who represents their best chance to make the most profit.


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Shaqiri lauds Tsimikas 

Meanwhile, Liverpool attacker Xherdan Shaqiri believes that Kostas Tsimikas will soon play a much greater role at the club after his quiet debut season.

The Greek left-back became the Reds’ first summer signing last August, joining from Olympiacos. Signed as back-up to the reliable Andy Robertson, he has only made six appearances in all competitions to date. Indeed, his only Premier League experience came in the last five minutes of the 4-1 defeat to Manchester City.

Given the number of key injuries Liverpool have suffered this term, Tsimikas may well have expected more game time. However, Robertson has remained one of only few stoic figures in Jurgen Klopp’s team.

Nevertheless, Switzerland international Shaqiri has backed his team-mate to flourish as his career at Anfield progresses.

Asked for his assessment of the left-back, Shaqiri told liverpoolfc.com: ” Very good. He is, first of all, a very good character and a very nice guy.

“A happy guy, always laughing every day – this is also very important.

“He is a good friend of mine; I try to help him any time he needs some help. He’s a funny guy.

“Obviously he didn’t have a lot of games this season but we see his qualities every day in training and how hard he works every day in the gym, after training too. I think this is going to pay off soon.

“I hope he gets his rhythm as soon as possible and he can get some minutes because he’s a very good player and he can be much, much better if he can improve himself also. That’s why he came here.“I’m looking forward that he’s going to be a very, very important player for the club.”

READ MORE: Bielsa told Leeds can’t afford to miss deal to sign bargain Liverpool man

 

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