Liverpool players playing backstage role in transfers to help Jurgen Klopp land targets

It may slip beneath the radar, but Jurgen Klopp’s players are playing a role behind the scenes to help secure transfer targets. It’s a tactic that was deployed even before Klopp’s arrival, during the days of Brendan Rodgers.

In Steven Gerrard’s autobiography, he revealed he was tasked with convincing Toni Kroos and Willian to move to Anfield.

“I had an unofficial role at the club, trying to persuade some great players to join Liverpool,” Gerrard said.

“It was the same ritual every summer. The club would let me know which long-shot they had in mind then ask me to contact him.

“They thought that a request to consider moving to Liverpool would have more impact coming from me.

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“In 2013, the latest player in our sights was Willian. I followed the usual routine when approaching a star player we wanted to sign. Instead of calling him directly I always sent a text. It seemed more respectful.

“I said hello and hoped he didn’t mind me contacting him directly. I stressed how much I admired him as a player and then, having mentioned that I knew Liverpool were speaking to his agent, I used the standard line: ‘If you need to chat or ask any questions I’m available at any time.”

Now several players are following in his footsteps, with a slightly more public approach.

Klopp is not assigning special roles to anyone, but he will certainly exercise any existing connections.

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The latest of which came earlier this week, when Trent Alexander-Arnold was asked about the prospect of signing Jadon Sancho during an Instagram Q&A.

“If he came to us, he’d make our team better,” Alexander-Arnold replied.

“So, I’d be more than happy for him to come because I played with him at England and he’s a special, special, special, special talent.”

Sancho then flirted with a move by leaving a comment made up of eye emojis.

Klopp may need Naby Keita to help him sign Timo Werner this summer, although the German international may not need much persuading given his clear interest in a move to Merseyside.

The midfielder has already urged his former RB Leipzig team-mate to join him at Liverpool.

“We played really well together at Leipzig, and he was one of my best mates,” Keita told Bild last year.

“It’s clear: Should he move, then I ask Timo to join us here at Liverpool.”

Funnily enough, Sadio Mane played a leading role in helping secure the capture of Keita in 2017, according to The Athletic.

Mane had played with Keita for a short space of time at RB Salzburg in the summer of 2014 before the winger moved to Southampton.

Liverpool have to tread carefully in the market given their previous history with allegations of tapping up but Klopp may just have an ace up his sleeve in the form of his players.

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