Liverpool reportedly want £30m ace and swap deal may be on the cards


Liverpool’s Joel Matip and Rennes’ Arthur Theate could potentially swap clubs this week with the Premier League giants eyeing the Belgium international centre-half. 

What is it about centre-halves with this specific haircut? Arthur Theate, who’s poodle-curl locks draw immediate comparisons with David Luiz and Wout Faes, is another all-action, front-foot defender who loves to dive into tackles. Some would say reckless, others rambunctious. Either way, it usually makes for pretty enthralling viewing. 

“He is a player who commits himself a lot,” explains Rennes director Florian Maurice. “(Theate) likes to defend and he likes challenges. He has a natural aggressiveness and an incredible energy.” 

Of course, mentioning Theate in the same breath as Luiz and Faes (who famously scored a brace of own goals at Anfield last season) may put a few doubts in the minds of Liverpool supporters, amid claims from L’Equipe that the former Bologna stopper is a £30 million target for Jurgen Klopp’s side. 

But if Theate can iron out those kinks and smooth those rough edges, there is no reason why the 23-year-old cannot prove to be an upgrade on the unconvincing Joe Gomez and the injury-prone Joel Matip at Anfield. 

Speaking of Matip, L’Equipe now reports that the veteran Cameroonian has been identified by Rennes as someone capable of taking Theate’s place if the latter does go this week. This would, of course, not be a straight swap deal.

Liverpool would still have to fork over a considerable sum of money for a player Rennes bought for £16 million just one year ago, though the inclusion of Matip could serve to sweeten The Reds’ deal. 

A natural left-footer, Theate could also act as an understudy and potential long-term replacement for the ageing Virgil van Dijk, who’s form over the last 18 months ago has occasionally left a lot to be desired.

Liverpool reportedly looked at fellow southpaws Levi Colwill and Micky van de Ven – now of Tottenham Hotspur – earlier in the summer. 

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