Liverpool have had promising centre-back Martin Hinteregger scouted ahead of a possible summer move to Merseyside.
The 21-year-old has caught the attention of numerous European clubs with his impressive displays for Red Bull Salzburg. Liverpool are keen on the signature of the promising defender and sent a scout to Klagenfurt on Wednesday night to watch the 21-year-old win his second cap for Austria in the friendly against Uruguay. The defender has appeared in 23 league matches for the Austrian League and at 21, is very important to his club.
Arsenal, Manchester United and Juventus have been admirers of the player for a while now. The Austrian international spoke of United’s interest last year:
“I confirm, there is interest in me from Manchester United and a top Italian club. I am honoured, I honestly did not expect that.”
Hinteregger’s commanding and imposing figure makes him an ideal fit for the Premier League. He is a tall figure standing at 6ft 1in, which plays as his strength being a defender. He is naturally left-footed, likes to supply attackers with long passes (and has a good accuracy with them), and he likes to build attacks from the back by linking up with the midfield. His physicality, which could be seen in the friendly, is what makes him so suitable for the Premier League.
Liverpool have had defensive woes throughout the season and if there is anything standing between them and their top four or higher ambitions, it is the error prone defence. Brendan Rodgers would be looking to strengthen the defence department in the summer and make sure Liverpool don’t have to always fall back on their attack to rescue them in matches next season. The prospect of perhaps playing in the Champions League with the Merseyside club would be exciting for Hinteregger.
However, Red Bull Salzburg are keen to hold on to their star defender and are not likely to sell cheap. The club would be asking for £8 million to let go of the Austrian.
THT Verdict: Tough fight
Reports of a Liverpool scout watching the 21 year old prove that Liverpool do in fact have interest in the player. The Merseyside club would face competition from Arsenal and Manchester Unitedw ho have been suggested to also be serious in their pursuit of the player. However, FSG might insist on going for the Austrian rather than other rumored target Jan Vertonghen, mainly because of the age factor. With Hinteregger’s young age, and already Premier League style of game, Ian Ayre and the transfer committee might look at this defender with more seriousness. The young star would have a lot of suitors in the summer and it will depend on much Liverpool are willing to spend on the player and the club’s seriousness if they want to land the player.