Arsenal and Liverpool Target Bayer Leverkusen Talent with £35m Release Clause
During Sunday’s Bundesliga clash between Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund, representatives from both Arsenal and Liverpool were in attendance. The game concluded with a 1-1 draw at Leverkusen’s BayArena, maintaining Leverkusen’s unbeaten start to the 2023/24 season. Under the management of Xabi Alonso, a former midfielder for Liverpool and Real Madrid, Leverkusen’s unexpected rise to the top of the table has drawn attention, putting several of their key players in the spotlight for top European clubs.
Reportedly, Arsenal and Liverpool were particularly interested in Jeremie Frimpong, the former Celtic full-back now playing for Leverkusen. Frimpong, at 22 years old, is expected to take the next step in his career in 2024. Notably, he holds a £35m release clause that expires this summer, adding to the intrigue surrounding his potential transfer. His consistent performances in the Bundesliga, coupled with his experience in both the Champions League and Europa League, make him an attractive prospect for these clubs.
Arsenal, despite having various full-back options, might consider signing Frimpong to potentially reposition Ben White, who is discussing a new contract. White could either move into a central role alongside William Saliba, his preferred position, or transition into a holding midfield role when needed. Additionally, a new right-back could allow for rotation between Takehiro Tomiyasu and Oleksandr Zinchenko, with Jurrien Timber set to return from injury later in the season.
Liverpool, on the other hand, have been experimenting with Trent Alexander-Arnold in a deeper midfield role. His promising performances in this position for both club and country might influence Liverpool’s decision to pursue a full-back like Frimpong rather than prioritize investing in a defensive midfielder.
Furthermore, both Arsenal and Liverpool hold an interest in Borussia Dortmund’s Nico Schlotterbeck, a left-sided centre-back. His standout performance in Dortmund’s recent Champions League victory over Newcastle showcased not only his defensive capabilities but also his ability to contribute to attacking plays. Despite joining Dortmund in 2022 on a five-year deal, prising Schlotterbeck away from Germany might prove challenging given his likely increased market value since his move from Freiburg for a fee around €25m.