Liverpool are reportedly interested in signing TSG Hoffenheim’s Austrian star Christoph Baumgartner as they look to bolster their midfield unit.
According to a report from German outlet Kicker, Premier League giants Liverpool have shown an interest in securing the transfer of TSG Hoffenheim midfielder Christoph Baumgartner in the current transfer window.
The 21-year-old Baumgartner spent the formative years of his career with the academies of SV Horn and AKA St. Poulten in Austria before signing for the Hoffenheim setup in 2017. Having spent the first couple of years with the Under-19s and the reserves, the midfielder has become a regular fixture in the first-team over the past couple of seasons, racking up 71 appearances in which he has 16 goals and 13 assists.
The 2020/21 campaign was quite a productive one for Baumgartner as the versatile attacking midfielder ended the term with a return of nine goals and seven assists from 41 games across all competitions for Hoffenheim. This had seemingly put the young Austrian on the radars of Manchester United at the turn of the year, with now Liverpool showing an interest in him.
Liverpool head into the summer knowing that they need a new midfielder, having lost Georginio Wijnaldum, who has completed a free transfer to French heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain. In addition to that, question marks continue to linger over the future of fellow midfielders Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who have been bogged down by fitness problems as well.
To that end, a new central midfielder is set to be a priority for manager Jurgen Klopp this summer, with Borussia Monchengladbach’s Florian Neuhaus emerging as a transfer target. And now, Baumgartner has also popped up on the radars of the Merseyside giants, although he wouldn’t exactly be a like-for-like replacement for Wijnaldum.
Indeed, Baumgartner is more of an attack-minded midfielder who thrives at making line-breaking runs and exploiting spaces between the lines. In contrast, Wijnaldum played a much different role in Klopp’s setup at Liverpool. Nevertheless, the 21-year-old is regarded as one of the finest young talents in the Bundesliga with good technical skills and tactical nous, which could help him adapt to the demands of the German manager at Anfield.
However, Baumgartner signed a new contract with TSG Hoffenheim in March earlier this year, extending his stay at the club till the summer of 2025. So, any move might require Liverpool to splash the big bucks on the 11-time capped Austrian international this summer or look for more affordable transfer targets like Brighton & Hove Albion’s Pascal Gross.