Liverpool ‘identify Fabinho alternative’ but face Thiago Alcantara swap deal to sign star

Liverpool youngster Elliott 'highly rated' by England U21 boss

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Liverpool have reportedly identified an alternative option to Fabinho, but may have to include Thiago Alcantara in a swap deal to make the move happen. Jurgen Klopp is yet to sign a replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum, who left on a free transfer to PSG over the summer.

The Reds are reportedly interested in AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie to provide competition for Fabinho.

The Brazilian has held down the holding-midfielder role consistently since his arrival from Monaco three years ago, sometimes dropping in to play at centre-back.

Jordan Henderson has usually provided back-up on those occasions.

But according to Italian outlet Il Milanista, Klopp is considering adding further depth into his midfield, and has identified Kessie as a potential option.

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The Ivory Coast international has emerged as one of the strongest midfield players in the Serie A over the last couple of seasons.

Despite playing in the deeper role, Kessie scored 14 goals in all competitions last season, having assumed the role as AC Milan’s chief penalty taker.

His strong physical presence but highly impressive technical ability make him a superb all-rounder in the middle of the park, and he would no doubt come at a high cost.

But Il Milanista suggest that Milan would be interested in a swap deal involving Thiago Alcantara.

The Spaniard took time to adjust to life in the Premier League last season, but became a virtual ever-present as the Reds rose back up the table to claim third place.

It is thought that AC Milan chiefs Paolo Maldini and Frederic Massara are keen admirers of Thiago, and see Kessie as a similar value to the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich man.

Liverpool face a run of seven matches in the next 22 days, kicking off with a trip to Leeds on Sunday and then the Champions League opener with Milan themselves.

And Fabinho admitted that the fixture pile-up would be tough on the squad, but insisted that he was excited by the prospect of some big match ups.

“It will be really intense, it will be tough. But we’re ready for this,” he told Liverpoolfc.com, with Anfield encounters against AC Milan and Crystal Palace to follow the Leeds meeting.

“I didn’t go to the national team so it will be almost two weeks without playing, so I want to play again. I want to play in the Premier League and the Champions League.

“I’m excited for this moment, we will play each three days, so everyone needs to be ready. The manager will need every player. The mentality of the group is really good, everyone is ready for this, everyone is in good shape. So we’re very excited for this moment.”

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