Which players are Liverpool watching at the World Cup?

Stuart Telford
Stuart Telford Updated: 24 Nov 2022 10:57 GMT 4 min read
Jurgen Klopp will be busy this winter.

Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool are paying close attention to the progress of some of their key transfer targets at the World Cup in Qatar…

Liverpool have one of the most famous examples of why it's not always the best idea to sign a player off the back of an impressive World Cup in El-Hadji Diouf, but that doesn't mean it should never be done.

Diouf helped Senegal beat holders France to kick off the 2002 edition and Liverpool announced his €15 million acquisition from Lens the following day. Six goals in 80 games later and he was sold at a €10.2m to Bolton.

But the Reds' scouting set-up is a different animal today, and they will be simply taking final notes on the players performing in Qatar…

READ: Andy Robertson names Klopp's three best Liverpool signings

They won't have to look too far from home for some of their primary targets. Two of their number - Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson - are part of Gareth Southgate's England squad, and Liverpool would gladly see Jude Bellingham or Mason Mount join them next season.

Bellingham is their top transfer target, and Borussia Dortmund's 19-year-old midfielder is already off the target for the Three Lions, scoring the opener in their 6-2 thrashing of Iran. Liverpool's biggest problem now is that Real Madrid and Manchester City have already entered the race for him.

Mount-ing interest

Should they miss out on Bellingham, Mount could emerge as a viable Plan B. The Reds are desperate for central midfielder with age and injury affecting Henderson, James Milner, Thiago Alcantara, Naby Keita and more, and Mount's contract talks at Chelsea are stalling.

READ: Mason Mount to Liverpool: Three players the Reds could offer Chelsea in exchange

Another central midfielder they are tracking is Enzo Fernandez, who only joined Benfica from River Plate in July. The 21-year-old replaced Leandro Parades for the final half-hour of Argentina's shock 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia; and as with Bellingham, the competition for his signature is fierce.

Further forward, Liverpool have an interest in France talisman Kylian Mbappe should he decide to leave Paris Saint-Germain after all; Germany youngster Youssoufa Moukoko is available on a free transfer at the end of the season after Dortmund dropped the ball on his contract, while Netherlands attacker Cody Gakpo, a long-term target of Manchester United's, has said "it would be an honour" to play for Liverpool.

Last but by no means least are a pair of Madrid-based Spaniards in Marco Asensio and Marcos Llorente. Asensio scored as Spain thrashed Costa Rica 7-0 but Llorente didn't get off the bench.

Versatile attacker Asensio is available on a free from Real Madrid at the end of the season, though. Llorente is under contract until 2027 across town at Atletico, but los Colchoneros have run into financial difficulty following their early Champions League exit, and Llorente's ability to both play in midfield and provide cover for Alexander-Arnold at right-back would be very welcome at Anfield.