Liverpool opened talks with Bayern Munich for the transfer of Ryan Gravenberch on Wednesday.
The Reds remain in the market for a fourth midfield signing of the summer and have identified Gravenberch to fulfil the role of the 'versatile' option they have been seeking.
With two days to go in the summer transfer window, Liverpool kicked up their long-standing interest in the Dutch 21-year-old, after Bayern agreed to sell for the right price.
Things are moving but there is a lot up in the air as Deadline Day looms.
How will Bayern Munich sell Ryan Gravenberch for?
David Ornstein reported that the two clubs were in talks over the financials, while it appears the move may hinge on whether Bayern can agree a deal for a new midfielder – namely Joao Palhinha.
The German champions want the Fulham midfielder to come in as the true defensive midfielder manager Thomas Tuchel has been crying out for and are prepared to sacrifice Gravenberch in order to get a deal done.
Christian Falk reports Bayern are willing to pay €60m (£51m) for Palhinha and hope to part-finance the deal with Gravenberch's sale.
That figure is some way off the £80m Fulham were reportedly holding out for earlier in the summer.
Meanwhile, the Telegraph report that Liverpool have made a 'formal approach' for Gravenberch – though there has been no bid as of yet – speculating that it may take a fee of £35m to secure the 21-year old.
ℹ️ Feeling is that FC Bayern demands around €30m for Ryan #Gravenberch!
➡️ Negotiations between the clubs ongoing. Liverpool definitely wants him!
➡️ No total agreement between #LFC & Gravenberch yet. Talks will proceed as soon as the clubs have an agreement.
— Florian Plettenberg (@Plettigoal) August 30, 2023
However, Sky reporter Florian Plettenberg instead suggests that Bayern will only ask for around €30m (£25.5m) for the player they signed for €18m (£15m) a year ago.
Melissa Reddy reports that Gravenberch's former club maintain a 7.5% sell-on clause, something which could well affect the final price of any transfer.
Various reports indicate that Gravenberch is keen to move to Liverpool, having become dissatisfied with his lack of game time at Bayern Munich.
What position does Ryan Gravenberch play?
Though often described as a 'number six' – and previously touted as a possible replacement for Fabinho – Gravenberch has generally played a more advanced role for Bayern Munich (when given opportunities, and has typically played the left-sided 'number eight' role of a midfield three. Occasionally, he has even been used as a backup for Jamal Musiala in an even more advanced role.
At Ajax, the Netherlands international played a variety of different roles, both as a holding and box-to-box midfielder.
It is this versatile skill set that appears to have attracted Klopp and Anfield Watch features writer Sam McGuire notes that could be used as a 'double-pivot' player at Liverpool: "He uses his body to retain possession, even in tight situations, in a way that is not too dissimilar to Gini Wijnaldum. Like a taller version of his compatriot.
"He’s a great press reliever. He absorbs pressure and either beats a man or wins a foul. I kind of want to see him in the role adopted by Fabinho in this new system. Granted, he’d need some training to familiarise himself with that role given it is a lot more defensive than what he’s perhaps used to but he has the profile for it – good under pressure, composed, tidy in possession, tall (6ft 2in), athletic and deceptively quick."
When is the transfer deadline?
Liverpool will have to move fast to agree a fee and secure the deal, with Deadline Day a matter of hours away.
The transfer deadline for Premier League clubs is set at 23:00 BST on Friday, 1 September. After that clubs will not be able to register new players again until January.
Interestingly, and adding further time pressure to the deal, the Bundesliga window actually closes a few hours earlier at 17:00 BST on Friday.
This means there is even less time for Bayern to sign Palhinha, or any other defensive midfielder, before sanctioning Gravenberch's exit.
What other signings could Liverpool make before the deadline?
Anfield Watch understands that the Reds are still in the market for another centre back, with Joe Gomez and Joel Matip currently the only fit and available options to Klopp ahead of Sunday's game against Villa.
Ideally, Liverpool would like a young, versatile option who can play the left-sided role. However, time is running out to make a deal, with no negotiations at an advanced stage.
21-year-old Ecuadorian Piero Hincapie has been looked at, but he is more likely to leave Bayer Leverkusen next year.
Levi Colwill was a target before he signed a new long-term contract at Chelsea, while Rennes' Arthur Theate and Torino's Perr Schuurs have been mentioned.