The 2022 FIFA World Cup group stage comes to an end today and the final teams heading through to the first knockout round in Qatar will be confirmed.
Back home, clubs continue to prepare for the return of competitive domestic football with Liverpool set to face Man City in the EFL Cup on December 22 before taking on Aston Villa in the Premier League on boxing day. Jurgen Klopp has just three fixtures left to play in 2022 before the January transfer window opens and it remains to be seen just how busy the Reds will be at the start of 2023.
Midfield is certainly the priority area for reinforcements and it appears that Borussia Dortmund and England star Jude Bellingham is the club’s top target but the 19-year old is unlikely to be sold by the Bundesliga club until the summer at the very earliest. With that in mind, Liverpool could look at other options to join up with the squad next month and a former Arsenal prospect could be the man they turn to.
According to a report from Caught Offside, who reference reports from Italian publication Corriere Dello Sport, the Anfield club have submitted an offer to AC Milan for Algerian midfielder Ismael Bennacer. The 25-year old joined the Serie A champions for €16 million plus bonuses in the summer of 2019 having performed well at league rivals Empoli.
Bennacer is out of contract in 2024 and Milan are apparently keen to tie him down to a new contract meaning the Reds would have to ‘move quickly’ to get a deal done. However, it is also reported that the former France youth international is ‘interested’ in a move abroad.
Arsenal signed Bennacer from French side Arles to join up with their youth academy in 2015 and the player made his senior debut in the FA Cup that year. However, the midfielder never made a Premier League appearance for the Gunners and joined Empoli in 2015 after a loan spell back in France with Tours. The 25-year old has also won 44 caps for the Algerian men’s national side.