The Nabil Fekir Liverpool transfer saga may have died down for now, but based on previous attempts to sign players, it would be no surprise if it extended even further into the summer.
After all, Jurgen Klopp has shown admirable patience when it comes to his Plan A targets in the recent past. Both Naby Keita and Virgil van Dijk took time to get over the line, but Liverpool never seemed intent on chasing an alternative.
There’s also been no rush to replace Philippe Coutinho, with the Merseyside club seemingly happy to bide their time and seek the right replacement, rather than splashing the cash in January on a player who wasn’t on the spreadsheet.
This points to the possibility that a Nabil Fekir Liverpool transfer could end up being 2018’s long drawn out narrative of the summer.
However, if Klopp does accept defeat in his quest to sign the Lyon attacker, another player that he already knows very well could prove a viable alternative.
The plus points of Mario Gotze
In terms of Coutinho replacements or players capable of providing necessary competition to the front three of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini and Thomas Lemar of Monaco have been previously linked.
One name that has been barely mentioned is Mario Gotze and there are multiple reasons why pursuing this transfer makes plenty of sense.
Firstly, Gotze is still only 26, which makes him young enough to fit into the Moneyball transfer strategy the club seem to have adopted.
Secondly, Dortmund are far from short of similar attacking players to fill his void should he leave. There’s already Marco Reus, Andriy Yarmolenko, Shinji Kagawa and former Manchester City youngster Jadon Sancho on the books.
Thirdly, Gotze would certainly cost less than the reported £40m that the Fekir Liverpool transfer was rumoured to be.
A sum closer to £25m may be enough to recruit the German.
Finally, Gotze is well versed in the playing style and demands of Klopp, having been a pivotal member of the 2010/11 Dortmund team that won the Bundesliga.
Liverpool are 4/1 to win the 2018/19 Premier League title and more options in the wide areas is certainly needed if they are to challenge on all fronts. Gotze would seem an ideal recruit, capable of contributing in a similar way that Bernardo Silva did for Manchester City’s title winners.