Liverpool interested in Hakan Calhanoglu

Recent reports coming out of Italy have seen Liverpool linked with a move for Inter Milan midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu, with the Turkey international potentially set to be the creative addition that Reds supporters have been craving.

Calciomercato claims that Jurgen Klopp is a keen admirer of the 28-year-old, with the Premier League club potentially eyeing up a new midfield addition following what appears to be a serious injury to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Improving a team which clinched two domestic trophies last term and came just a whisker away from securing an unprecedented quadruple appears near-impossible, although the midfield has long been an area noted as a potential weakness at Anfield.

The addition of former Bayern Munich genius Thiago Alcantara has provided a classy, silky touch to what had typically been a workmanlike midfield trio prior to that, but for all the Spaniard’s undoubted quality, he is seemingly not the man to make the ultimate difference in the final third.

That is perhaps where Calhanoglu comes in, with the former AC Milan ace – who made a controversial free transfer to the club’s San Siro rivals last summer – offering a real creative option and a much-needed link between the midfield and attack.

The most recent campaign saw the 72-cap sensation score eight goals and provide 13 assists for Simone Inzaghi’s side in 46 games across all competitions, notably netting in the 4-2 victory over Juventus in the Coppa Italia final in May.

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Prior to his move a year ago, the £31.5m-rated ace had provided 80 goal contributions in 172 games for the Rossoneri, while also scoring 28 goals and providing 29 assists in 115 games during his three-year spell at Bayer Leverkusen.

Dubbed “exceptional” and a “leader” by his former boss Stefano Pioli, the 5 foot 10 magician is also something of a set-piece specialist, having been renowned for his free-kick prowess throughout his career.

Such quality from range and his overall creative talent could well see the former Hamburg man finally fill the void left behind by Philippe Coutinho at Anfield, with the Merseysiders having yet to find a creative heir to the Brazilian since his £142m departure for Barcelona in January 2018.

Like Calhanoglu, the playmaker also possesses a knack for the spectacular, having often dazzled the Liverpool faithful with his remarkable talents during his time at the club.

In total, the 30-year-old racked up 54 goals and 45 assists in 201 games across all fronts during his Anfield days, having returned to these shores earlier this year to link up with former Reds team-mate Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa.

A simply joyous, mesmering footballer to watch in his pomp, Coutinho may not have been a part of the success that Klopp’s team have enjoyed since his exit four-and-a-half years ago, although he was a crucial figure for the German in the rapid progression during the manager’s first couple of years on Merseyside, with 37 goals and 22 assists in 89 matches under Klopp’s watch.

As such, the former Borussia Dortmund boss would no doubt jump at the chance to land a Coutinho-esque talent like Calhanoglu this summer.