Liverpool have entered the race alongside Arsenal to sign Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka next summer after Jurgen Klopp met the player's agent with regards to a move to Anfield in the future. The Swiss midfielder has attracted the attention of a number of clubs following some impressive performances for the Bundesliga club this season.
According to German publication Sport Bild, the former Borussia Dortmund manager met Xhaka's agent Andy Gross in December 2015 as he plans his signings for the summer. The report claims that Klopp has identified the Monchengladbach star as the much needed leader in Liverpool's midfield alongside skipper Jordan Henderson.
Apart from the Reds, Premier League rivals Arsenal and Chelsea have also been credited with interest in signing the midfielder, according to Bild. Xhaka, who is contracted to the German club until the summer of 2019, has a €30m (£22m, $32m) release clause in his contract. However, that is applicable only from 2017, which leaves interested clubs free to negotiate a price this summer, while also giving Monchengladbach the advantage to get a better price. The club's sporting director has already admitted that a tempting offer could persuade the club to sell the Switzerland international.
The 23-year-old defensive midfielder has featured 15 times in the league for Monchengladbach this campaign, scoring three goals, and his style of play has seen him being compared to former Bayern Munich and current Manchester United star Bastian Schweinsteiger. Moreover, he has already admitted that playing in the Premier League is a "childhood dream", one which he would like to fulfill in the future.
"I have a childhood dream, and that is the Premier League. No matter if I play a second or 100 matches in England, I would one day love to fulfil that childhood dream," Xhaka told Monchengladbach fanzine torfabrik.de, as translated by ESPN FC.
"I read about those things [speculated moves], sure, and overhear a lot of things, but it's only speculation. I am not interested in it.
"If there was something or the club had something [an offer], then we'd sit down. But currently there is nothing. I am under contract until 2019, feel great here, and I am happy. That's the state of things," the Swiss midfielder said.