Milan to move for 'new Messi' - Why Liverpool should re-enter the race

Liverpool YNWA

Milan are reportedly primed to press for Juan Iturbe, but it’s Liverpool that should be on the offensive.

The Argentine – best known for the oft bandied-about label of ‘the new Messi’ – has enjoyed an impressive campaign on loan in Serie A with newly-promoted Hellas Verona.

Five goals and 49 successful dribbles, the latter good for fifth-best in the Italian top flight, have piqued the attention of Europe’s more illustrious clubs.

Iturbe’s career looked to be fizzling out early as he struggled to develop at parent club Porto after moving to the Estadio do Dragao at just 18 years of age, but his exploits for the Mastini see him in high demand once again.

Despite his rise, the Portuguese giants are looking to sell when the forward’s time at Verona expires in June – and Milan look hot on his trail alongside AS Roma and Juventus.

Calciomercato have maintained that the Rossoneri are gearing up to make a run at his signature come summer, new boss Clarence Seedorf needing wide men to complete his 4-2-3-1 set-up.

The Dutchman has reportedly approved a play for the 20-year-old, whilst Verona sporting director Sean Sogliano is expected to switch to San Siro at season’s end and could be invaluable in the pursuit of Iturbe.

Porto are believed to be inclined to flog off the Cerro Porteno youth product to the highest bidder, however, so the situation remains open at present.

And as such, Liverpool would do well to step into the frame.

The Reds were linked with a move for Iturbe in November – though seemingly the trail has gone cold as Serie A clubs have remained keen on his services.

Brendan Rodgers has experimented with a  number of formations this term, employing the 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3 most often, and has always looked in need of additional options out on the flanks.

Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson have certainly picked up the pace but Iturbe could prove to be a lightning rod at Anfield; the type of player that has the pace and trickery to open up spaces and make Luis Suarez even more dangerous.

At just 20 he has plenty of time to continue his development and could solidify Rodgers’ plans in attack for years to come – having shown he can thrive from the start in new environments with Verona.

Iturbe is available for next season – that much is certain – though with an auction impending and interest from elsewhere rife, his final price-tag remains unknown.

Even so the Reds should take a hard look at the Argentine, as for €10m or less he could prove to be steal down the road – adding quality whilst not breaking the bank to allow defensive and midfield reinforcements to also come in.

The transfer window may be open now, but the time has already come to establish plans for the summer. Bringing Iturbe back into focus is the first step, and ultimately securing his services would be a power move that would send a message to Liverpool’s Premier League rivals.

image: © nathan17

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch