By Noel Whelan

23rd Sep, 2019 | 12:26pm

'I can see him joining Liverpool' - Exclusive: Whelan tips Klopp to sign 'new Coutinho' in Jan


Liverpool could sign Leicester City playmaker James Maddison and tie up a deal as early as January, according to Noel Whelan.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Leeds United and Coventry City claimed the 22-year-old is a huge talent who reminds him of Philippe Coutinho.

Whelan has watched Maddison develop from a Football League gem at Coventry and Norwich City into a fully-fledged Premier League star at Leicester.

He is convinced the ex-England Under-21 international is being watched by the Premier League elite and will be firmly on the radar of the leaders.

“James Maddison is absolutely a Liverpool type of player, I can see him joining [Liverpool]” Whelan told Football Insider. “He can be the new Coutinho.

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“He’s similar to him in many ways – great feet, can run with the ball, can see a pass that no-one else can and scores wonder goals.

“He’s still young but already he’s a real gem and his value is going to get higher and higher over the next few years. 

“All the big teams will be watching him, but they will know he won’t come cheap. Can Liverpool sign him in January? Of course. They got [Virgil] Van Dijk in a January window and haven’t looked back.

“Liverpool will also have money to spend after not buying anyone senior this summer. Jurgen Klopp and the recruitment team have a brilliant record in the transfer market, and Maddison could fit in well.”

Maddison joined Leicester from Norwich in the summer of 2018 for £22million.

He scored seven goals and provided seven assists in 36 Premier League appearances last season and created the most chances of any player in the domestic campaign.

He has made a fine start to the new season, scoring twice and assisting two more from seven matches in all competitions, including the winning goal in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Leicester City.

In other Liverpool news, it can be REVEALED that the club have opened midfielder talks and a big-money offer is ready.