Jurgen Klopp presented opportunity to finally seal transfer for No.1 Liverpool target

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Looking back on the summer of 2017, Jurgen Klopp must be pretty relieved he missed out on his No.1 transfer target for Liverpool.

As had he not, we might not have seen Mohamed Salah pitch up at Anfield from Roma in a £36million deal which now looks to be one of the bargains of the century.

Salah of course hit the ground running, winning multiple awards in his first season and breaking the record for most goals scored in a single Premier League campaign.

That was just the start of what Salah has gone on to achieve on Merseyside.

But what of the player Klopp had previously identified to sign ahead of him?

Mohamed Salah's transfer to Liverpool has been a huge success – but he wasn't Klopp's first target
(Image: Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Well, as it happens, Liverpool may now be able to land Klopp's preferred target after all, and even play him in the same team as Salah next season.

German publication Ruhr Nachrichten report that Borussia Dortmund are now prepared to let Julian Brandt leave the club this summer.

Brandt was top of Klopp's shortlist four years ago and, despite now being surplus to requirements in Germany, is still only 25 years old.

The question now is whether Liverpool are still interested in signing the versatile midfielder.

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Once deemed one of Germany's biggest talents, Brandt has seen less action for Dortmund this season, making 17 starts in the Bundesliga and just two in the Champions League.

Much of that is down to Dortmund being well stocked for players who can fulfil similar roles to Brandt, hence their willingness to let him go.

Their own financial difficulties also play a part, and it is likely he will be available for a modest price, with Bild reporting recently that Dortmund will sell for around £17.5million – something which would tempt Liverpool amid their own restraints.

Klopp has already sanctioned a £35m deal for Ibrahima Konate and further spending is expected to be limited unless he can offload some of his fringe stars.

Borussia Dortmund are reportedly open to selling Julian Brandt this summer
(Image: Getty Images)

With Georginio Wijnaldum departing, another midfielder is needed before the season kicks off, while competition and back-up to the front three would also be welcomed.

Brandt could be a solid answer that effectively covers both bases, given he can play centrally as well as out wide – similarly to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, whose own durability, like that of Naby Keita's, is still a big question mark.

It is worth considering why Klopp would want to sign a player who is not starting regularly at Dortmund, and who did not make the Germany squad for the Euros this summer.

But that would be to overlook how much the Reds' manager rated Brandt previously, having done plenty of research and discussed the player at length with his contacts from around the Bundesliga.

As the book Believe Us: How Jurgen Klopp turned Liverpool into title winners documented, it was actually more through Brandt's reluctance to join Liverpool due to concerns he would not be a first-team regular that forced the club to go after Salah instead.

Brandt clearly won't be guaranteed minutes at Anfield, but his situation at Dortmund does not promise that either, and a fresh challenge under Klopp could be just the opportunity he needs to revive his slightly stagnating career.

He fits the mould perfectly of what Liverpool are looking for in their midfielders.

And it's only been in the last season in which Brandt has been less pivotal to Dortmund, after impressing in his debut season at the club following his switch from Leverkusen, though he has still clocked up 45 appearances in total.

For Liverpool it represents a cut-price option to help bolster their options, and for Klopp, the chance to finally land the player he wanted all those years ago, and no doubt still has some admiration for.

If his second-choice target turned out so well, what's to say his first can't be a success too, even if it's a little later than planned.

Would Brandt be a good signing for Liverpool? Let us know your thoughts below.

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