Liverpool tipped to battle PSG for £76m-rated international midfielder

The January transfer window is just around the corner, and the Reds are already being linked with a host of new signings.

The latest player to be tipped to join Liverpool is Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde.

According to Catalan publication El Nacional, the player is becoming increasingly frustrated with having to settle for a bit-part role in Zinedine Zidane's side, and could look for a move abroad as he plots the next stage of his career.

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Given the debt-ridden status of Real Madrid, the club could well look to shift some of their highly-valued assets, especially if they still harbour hopes of luring Borussia Dortmund superstar Erling Haaland to the Bernabeu in the summer.

Who is Federico Valverde?

The 23-year-old is generally billed as a holding midfielder, but is renowned for his ability as a progressive ball carrier, driving his team forward with some serious energy.

He's as versatile as they come too - an invaluable trait in modern football - and can operate as a full-back, midfielder, or further up the field on the wing.

Joining Los Blancos' youth side from his boyhood club Penarol back in 2016, Valverde has been a bit of a slow burner, impressing with a loan spell at Deportivo La Coruna back in 2017/18, before breaking into Real Madrid's senior side the following season.

He's made 88 La Liga appearances for his side across three-and-a-half seasons, and featured heavily in the side's title-winning campaign in 2019/20, playing 33 times while chipping in two goals and five assists.

Who else wants to sign the player?

Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich have all been linked with the Uruguay international, whose impressive performances for Real continue to attract interest from Europe's elite clubs.

How likely is the deal?

In truth, probably not hugely likely.

The big issue facing Liverpool ahead of the new year is how to deal with the absence of Mohamed Salah, Naby Keita and Sadio Mane, who all head to the Africa Cup of Nations to represent their respective teams for up to one month.

Obviously, Liverpool aren't going to go out and spend hundreds of millions of pounds on like-for-like, short-term replacements, who would likely be reduced to bench-filling fodder upon the return of the current starters.

That said, the Reds have been active in January windows in recent times, responding to their defensive injury crisis by bringing in Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak last January, and swooping for Takumi Minamino the season before.

Given the aforementioned issue of players on extended international duty, the festive fixture pile-up, and the ongoing concern of games being rescheduled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Liverpool strengthening with a versatile signing such as Valverde would be a savvy move, and certainly shouldn't be ruled out at this stage.