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Ryan Gravenberch transfer ‘almost inevitable’ after Bayern Munich sacking and Liverpool interest



Ryan Gravenberch transfer ‘almost inevitable’ after Bayern Munich sacking and Liverpool interest

A summer departure for Bayern Munich midfielder and Liverpool target Ryan Gravenberch is ‘almost inevitable’ according to reports.

The Reds have pinpointed the Dutchman as a potential candidate to bolster the midfield ranks in Jurgen Klopp’s side. Gravenberch – who made 24 appearances in the Bundesliga last season – has seen his future plunged into uncertainty after playing a bit-part role in Bayern’s dramatic title win.

He started just nine per cent of his outings as the Bavarians endured a difficult campaign in Germany. It was a problematic season as Thomas Tuchel replaced Julian Nagelsmann mid-season before Oliver Kahn and Hasan Salihamidzic were sacked following their final day of the season triumph that saw them retain the league title.

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Gravenberch has been mooted with a move to Anfield for a number of months as Klopp eyes strengthening his squad this summer. Three of the four departing due to the expiry of their contracts are midfielders with replacements such as Alexis Mac Allister, Mason Mount, Manu Kone and Khephren Thuram linked.

According to Sport 1’s Kerry Hau, there is a chance that the 21-year-old leaves the Allianz Arena after just one season. As quoted by Soccernews in Holland, the Ajax academy graduate faces an uncertain future with consideration that he is a ‘Salihamidzic signing’.

As a result, Tuchel must show that there is a clear plan and perspective for Gravenberch otherwise a Premier League move is a possibility with the Reds interested, the report says.

In recent weeks, Bayern have been increasingly linked with in-demand West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice. The England international has courted interest from the English top-flight and Europe after his stock increasingly grew during his time under David Moyes.

Manchester United were said to have earmarked him last summer and were looking to reignite their interest in him but now Tuchel’s side are said to be in the race which creates uncertainty around Gravenberch’s future.


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As Jurgen Klopp prepares to overhaul his squad, Mail Sport assesses Liverpool’s midfield targets

With incoming sporting director Jorg Schmadtke freshly installed at Anfield, Liverpool’s summer business can begin in earnest, and top of Jurgen Klopp’s wishlist? A shiny new midfield.

Liverpool’s shaky season was given new life in the latter stages after Klopp made impressive tweaks to the midpack, most notably in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s role, but whilst the improvements kept the Reds in contention for European glory next season, the modifications weren’t built to last.

Instead, the German manager and his compatriot will be combing the international top flight for available talent who could go some way to living up to their former top target, Jude Bellingham.

As things stand, Liverpool are said to be considering three targets that are a cut above: Borussia Monchengladbach’s Manu Kone, Khephren Thuram of Nice, and Brighton’s World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister.

Looking at the three players alongside one another, it’s immediately clear why Klopp and Schmadtke favour the midfielders, with all of them capable of providing both attacking heft and defensive grounding after strong seasons in the Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and Premier League respectively.

Alexis Mac Allister has emerged as a key target after the Reds halted their pursuit of Jude Bellingham after the winter break

Borussia Monchengladbach’s Manu Kone is being tracked by both Liverpool and Man United

After a strong season in Nice and a France call-up, Khepren Thurman is a player in demand

As per statisticians Delphlyx, All are intelligent readers of the game, with similarly high successful pass percentages.

Mac Allister’s, at 88.09 per cent per 90 minutes, is the highest but Thuram’s 87.47 per cent, and Kone’s 86.02 per cent are in touching distance of the Brighton player.

But or a central midfielder, Mac Allister offers a runaway attacking threat that Kone and Thuram have a hard time catching.

Making an average of one shot on target per 90 minutes, the Argentina international’s chunky 0.33 xG per match accounts for his superior goal contributions – with 12 goals and three assists for Brighton across all competitions.

Alongside his impressive club contributions, Mac Allister was a linchpin in Argentina’s World Cup-winning squad after garnering just nine senior appearances for his country before travelling to Qatar.

Liverpool’s goal provision this season has been a team effort, and Mac Allister’s possibilities higher up the pitch could make him an enticing prospect for Klopp and Schmadtke to consider. His profile comes in contrast to Thuram’s and Kone’s, both of whom have a marginally more defensive aspect to their game.

Mac Allister’s data in blue and Kone’s in pink shows off both players’ considerable demonstration of attacking actions on matchday

The World Cup winner was tearful after what was likely his last home appearance at the Amex

Mac Allister has bagged an impressive 12 goals for Brighton across all competitions this term

Kone has also been eyed by Manchester United as their own hunt for coverage in central midfield rolls on, his price tag likely to pale in comparison to that commanded by the target at the top of their wishlist in that position, West Ham’s Declan Rice.

The 21-year-old was described as a ‘one-man army in midfield’ by scout Jacek Kulig, who highlighted his performance against Bayern Munich in February. The Bavarian giants were held to the sword by Daniel Farke’s side, who beat the champions 3-2 thanks to a goal from Thuram’s brother Marcus. Kone’s composed performance saw him complete a 95 per cent pass accuracy, with 14 of his 19 duels won.

Data shows that Kone in particular is bullish off the ball, averaging 8.70 ball recoveries on matchday, and the Toulouse graduate could add ballast to Liverpool’s midfield that has at various points in the season looked easy for sides to scythe through. Mac Allister’s numbers are also strong, averaging 7.87 ball recoveries per 90 minutes.

Kone’s data in blue and Thuram’s in blue shows that the players have similar midfield profiles

Kone’s ball recovery skills per 90 minutes are impressive, and the 22-year-old has been described as a ‘one-man army’

Where Thuram shines is in possession: his successful dribble percentage is an average of 78.31 per cent, and the 22-year-old is capable of making hay as he slaloms up the pitch.

His is the strongest stat when it comes to crosses, with the player making 0.85 per 90 minutes, and his attacking action metric makes him a cut above Mac Allister and Kone when it comes to harassing the opposition.

His ability to force Nice onto the front foot may have come at his detriment this season, after Thuram pulled on the red-and-black jersey of the Riviera side a staggering 48 times during their 2022-23 campaign.

In a measure of how highly he is valued on the south coast, manager Didier Digard said he blamed himself when Thuram picked up a hamstring injury in Nice’s penultimate clash of the season, ending his term prematurely.

‘At some point, I have to think about the player and give him a breather,’ Digard said remorsefully. ‘I didn’t, and I blame myself.’

Mac Allister just edges Thurman in the successful passing percentages, offering a slightly sharper attacking edge

The son of Lilian Thuram has been one of Nice’s ultra-reliable starters across all competitions

Jurgen Klopp and incoming sporting director Jorg Schmadtke (right) will have a difficult decision to make in Liverpool’s midfield

All three players, however, could offer Liverpool significant threat, with Kone’s attacking action average only marginally behind Thuram’s at 5.71 per 90 minutes. Kone is also a strong progressive passer, capable of spurring Monchengladbach to wins against both the Bundesliga champions and title contenders Borussia Dortmund this season.

Described as a player with ‘a lot of potential’ by the manager that handed him his debut at the club, Adi Hutter, like Thuram, he has consistently had faith placed in him by his manager Farke, making Monchengladbach’s starting for 88 per cent of their Bundesliga campaign.

Acquiring Kone comes with the lightest financial burden of the three, with Monchengladbach valuing the player at £40million, compared to the £52m requested by Nice for Thuram, whilst Mac Allister could command a price tag of up to £70m, which speaks not only to his talent, but his significant Premier League experience.

But financial considerations alone won’t force Liverpool’s hand when the window opens – from June 14, the Klopp and Schmadtke will have an extremely difficult decision to make between three exciting talents.

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