The Lowdown: Reds monitoring Rice
The Premier League giants, according to a claim by Football Insider on Monday, are monitoring the midfielder at the World Cup after he was named in Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad to represent England in Qatar.
The Reds have also held a long-term interest in Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham, though the Irons 23-year-old might be easier to secure given there isn’t the same number of competitors battling it out for his signature.
The Latest: McManus’ comments
Speaking to Football Insider, McManus claimed that Liverpool would be better off pursuing Rice and believes that he is a more realistic target than that of his Three Lions teammate. He said:
“Liverpool are lacking legs and energy in the middle of the park.
“Rice has that in spades. They are playing with Thiago and Fabinho in there, they are both good footballers but the game has changed now.
“You have to be able to get up and down the park quickly and I think Rice would be a really exciting signing for them.
“I know they have been linked with Jude Bellingham as well so it is clear they are in the market for a blockbuster midfield player.
“Whether it’s Bellingham or Rice, both of them would walk into that Liverpool team. It’s who is available. If Rice has a good World Cup, is he going to stay at West Ham in a relegation battle?
“If you are Rice, you want to play for a team in the Champions League, a team challenging for titles.
“I think Rice is more realistic than Bellingham.”
The Verdict: Perfect for Klopp
Jurgen Klopp loves his midfielders to hold a major influence both going forward and defensively, so Rice’s reputation as a ‘dominator’ could mean he fits the profile of player required.
Rice’s ability to remain calm in possession, alongside his natural ease to move up the pitch, makes him the ideal candidate to put pen to paper at Anfield in 2023.
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