By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
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Liverpool’s two priority targets this summer are Leicester sensation Ben Chilwell and Borussia Mochengladbach star Mahmoud Dahoud, according to a report.
The Merseysiders are in the market for someone to compete with first-choice Alberto Moreno on the left side of the defence and a central midfielder.
Chilwell and Dahoud were the names most strongly mentioned by reliable Merseyside journalist Paul Joyce as he gave some insight into the club’s transfer market plans.
Liverpool’s interest in left-back Chilwell has been widely reported, with the England Under-20 international out of contract in the summer of 2017.
In a Q&A with the This is Anfield website, Express reporter Joyce gave the latest on the pursuit of the 19-year-old, who spent the first half of the season on loan at Huddersfield where Jurgen Klopp’s friend David Wagner is manager.
“The primary target is [Ben] Chilwell at Leicester City,” said Joyce. “That might surprise people with [Alberto] Moreno being here, that they are going for such another young lad.
“The feeling is that he is their first choice [left-back target] and it is just a question of Liverpool and Leicester negotiating. There is a keenness for the transfer to get done, but people are away from the club at the minute and these things tend to get strung out, especially when Leicester are probably not that keen on settling.
“Maybe the lad sees an opportunity with Liverpool. Obviously Wagner has recommended him to Klopp from his time at Huddersfield so as far as I was aware the left back interest really is on Chilwell.”
Liverpool are also keen to beef up their midfield, which was found wanting at various stages of the 2015-16 season, most notably in the second half of the Europa League final, which they lost 3-1 to Sevilla.
“Midfield is another they want to improve, with Dahoud being the go-to man they are looking for,” Joyce told This is Anfield.
At the top of the pitch, Liverpool have been widely linked with Bayern Munich’s Mario Gotze, while the prolific Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain has been mentioned after Klopp was in the stands to personally watch him in action for Argentina on Monday night.
Joyce is convinced there could be a few twists and turns in Liverpool’s pursuit of Gotze, who emerged through the ranks when Klopp was at Borussia Dortmund.
“Gotze’s playing whatever game he is playing – but I could still see that one being resurrected at some point as Bayern have made it pretty clear he doesn’t feature for them,” Joyce said in the Q&A. “Is he really going to stay for a final year if he isn’t going to play football?
“It’s ok saying those things on May 23rd but when it gets to August 23rd? I don’t know if it’s the end of that one.”
The experienced Express writer, who has been covering the Merseyside patch for 20 years, was adamant that Higuain is not on Liverpool’s agenda.
“The feedback that we are getting is they are not in for a striker,” Joyce explained. “Obviously people get seduced by the name of Higuain and his goalscoring record but there doesn’t seem to be a willingness to buy a striker.”
In other Liverpool transfer news, Klopp has already begun to look towards a summer revamp with his scouts checking out a potential £12million player.