After spending the summer fighting tooth and nail to keep Phillipe Coutinho at Anfield, Liverpool finally look ready to allow the Brazilian to join Barcelona, and will make a January move for German international Julian Draxler as his replacement.
Draxler, 24, has not long been plying his trade with Paris St Germain, but the arrivals of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe are limiting his game time, something which is not going down well with Draxler, who is currently averaging just 43 minutes per game with PSG – and is concerned this may hamper his chances of being first choice for the German national squad with the 2018 World Cup fast approaching.
Liverpool will want a swift and decisive move in place for once Coutinho does leave Anfield, to appease their fans and, they hope, press their claims for a Champions League place next season, with a title challenge already disappearing over the horizon this season.
Draxler is also on the radar of Arsenal, whom appear keen on the player as they look for replacements for their own want away stars Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil – but Liverpool will feel they hold the upper hand to bring the player to Anfield, although Draxler’s wage demands may well prove to be a sticking point, as he is currently on a very generous 4 year contract at PSG.
Although losing Coutinho will still be a blow for the Reds, gaining Draxler will be a fine acquisition as replacement. Whilst they are incomparable in terms of size and stature, Draxler is pacy and versatile, with an exceptionally strong shot. He may not possess the impish skills and movement of Coutinho, but his direct running and aggressive play will suit the Premier League and it may not be long before the Kop are singing his praises rather than ruing the loss of their current darling.
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