Jurgen Klopp has reportedly ‘given the green light’ for Liverpool to make a marquee midfield signing in January after the injury to Arthur Melo.
Arthur joined Liverpool on loan from Juventus at the end of the summer transfer window and has made just one subsitute appearance under Klopp so far.
And he now looks set to be out for the remainder of the year with surgery required on an injury picked up in training.
There were rumours that Liverpool would dip into the January market for midfield reinforcements in any case, but Football Insider claims the Brazilian’s absence is set to force their hand.
The report claims Klopp ‘has given the green light to the club’s recruitment team to step up plans to bring in a midfielder able to slot straight into the first team’.
Jude Bellingham is thought to be at the top of their wishlist, but they’re set to face stiff competition for the England international’s transfer.
A report on Saturday claimed Rice could be the answer for Klopp and Liverpool.
Liverpool ‘retain a strong interest’ in Rice ‘as they lay the groundwork for a marquee midfield signing next year.
Liverpool are still ‘pushing hard’ for Bellingham but increasing competition from Real Madrid and others has the Reds looking at other options.
Klopp is a ‘huge admirer of Rice’ and ‘believes he would be a perfect fit for his team’.
Klopp was apparently denied the money in the summer transfer window to bring the West Ham midfielder to the club then with the Hammers demanding £150m for the England international.
But Rice’s valuation is likely to fall soon with his contract expiring in 2024, although West Ham do have an option to extend it by another year.
That report was tipping Liverpool to move for Rice next summer, but the “huge news”, as one source described Arthur’s injury, could lead them to bring the timeline forward and chase the 23-year-old in January.
Rice has always said he wants to play Champions League football at some stage in his career, but Liverpool will likely by vying with long-term admirers Chelsea for his signature.