Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp remained tight-lipped on his side’s pursuit of Bayern Munich midfielder Ryan Gravenberch. Despite reports of an agreement for the Dutchman to join the Reds permanently for a fee of £34.2 million and personal terms agreed on a five-year contract, Klopp refrained from commenting on the speculation during his Friday press conference, citing the need to wait until any deal is officially confirmed.
Klopp stated, “I’m really sorry to disappoint you, but we cannot talk about that because nothing has really happened yet. It’s Friday, right? If something happens, then we can talk about it on Sunday. It’s deadline day, so I don’t want to kill the excitement of the people; you never know. But I’m busy today with other things!”
While Liverpool has focused on reinforcing its midfield during the summer transfer window, Klopp faces a shortage of options in central defense for the upcoming clash with Aston Villa. Virgil van Dijk serves a suspension following his red card against Newcastle United last weekend and is also at risk of a potential longer ban due to an FA charge of improper conduct.
Ibrahima Konate is unavailable due to an unspecified injury, leaving Klopp with limited choices in defense. As a result, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez are expected to pair up in central defense against Aston Villa.
Liverpool had been linked with the possibility of adding a new center-back to the squad before the transfer deadline, but Klopp dismissed the idea, stating, “Ibou will not be ready for the game. If we could bring in a center-half for the weekend, we would think about it, but no, we can’t.”
In terms of injuries, Thiago Alcantara has experienced a setback in his recovery from a hip injury and is expected to remain sidelined until after the international break. However, Curtis Jones is set to return from an ankle injury.
Klopp provided an update, saying, “Curtis is back in training fully. Thiago is not. Thiago had a little setback. He started training with the team and then had a little setback, so we have to slow down there a little bit. It’s not cool for him, it’s not cool for us, but it’s how it is. Thiago will use the international break for that, and hopefully, he’ll be up to speed by then. All the rest, until now, are available.”
Despite facing adversity, Liverpool has shown resilience early in the season, taking seven points from their opening three matches and currently sitting fourth in the Premier League table. Their next challenge comes in the form of Aston Villa, who advanced to the Europa Conference League group stages with an 8-0 aggregate win over Hibernian in midweek.