Liverpool target 'blocked' from joining Reds in January

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
  • 14 Nov 2023 17:15 GMT
  • 3 min read
Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool
© ProShots

Liverpool have reportedly identified Wolverhampton Wanderers star Rayan Ait-Nouri as a January transfer target, but Gary O’Neil’s side have “blocked” any mid-season exit.

Ait-Nouri, 22, has impressed Liverpool executives this season, with the Reds regularly monitoring his progress at Molineux.

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The Algeria international was a bit-part player under Julen Lopetegui last season, but he has emerged as one of O’Neil’s favourites this season and his form has attracted interest from Anfield.

READ MORE: Man Utd face fresh competition in Andre race

French outlet Le10Sport have reported that Liverpool are interested in signing Ait-Nouri, with the defender subject to “regular” and “insistent” contact from the Reds.

However, Wolves are determined to keep hold of the 22-year-old and have “blocked” any potential January deal. Ait-Nouri’s current contract at Molineux is due to expire in 2026, meaning Wolves have no immediate rush to sell, despite Liverpool’s interest.

It is likely that if the Algerian did join Jurgen Klopp’s side, then he would act as Andrew Robertson’s back-up, although that could see Kostas Tsimikas forced out the door given he is currently Liverpool’s second-choice left-back.

READ MORE: Liverpool lead Chelsea and Barcelona in race to sign Brazilian wonderkid

Rayan Ait-Nouri, Wolves
© ProShots - Rayan Ait-Nouri, Wolves

Liverpool’s summer business

Liverpool’s pursuit of Ait-Nouri comes after a summer of change in midfield. Klopp sanctioned the free transfer departures of Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner, while both Fabinho and Jordan Henderson were sold to the lucrative Saudi Pro League.

Fabinho joined Al-Ittihad for €46.7m, while former Reds captain Henderson joined Steven Gerrard’s Al-Ettifaq for €14m.

In their place, Liverpool signed Dominik Szoboszlai (€70m), Alexis Mac Allister (€42m), Ryan Gravenberch (€40m) and Wataru Endo (€20m) to complete their midfield overhaul.

Klopp’s side have still been linked with signing another player in the middle of the park, however, but their pursuit of Brazilian midfielder Andre have ended, sources have told FootballTransfers.

Instead, Manchester United are now keen on landing the 22-year-old as a likely replacement for the ageing Casemiro.

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