Teun Koopmeiners update hands Arne Slot first Liverpool transfer opportunity

Teun Koopmeiners
-Credit: (Image: Roy Lazet/Soccrates/Getty Images)


Liverpool have been tipped to search for a new midfielder under Arne Slot and Atalanta star Teun Koopmeiners has been one name persistently linked in recent weeks.

The 26-year-old played 52 times under Slot at former club AZ Alkmaar and enjoyed a fruitful output of 21 goals and seven assists. Furthermore, Koopmeiners was his captain and was used as both a central midfielder and a defensive pivot.

He has predominantly been used as an attacking midfielder at Atalanta over the past year but has operated as a defensive midfielder in 47 of his 129 appearances for the Italian club since his 2021 arrival.

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Koopmeiners was an integral part in Atalanta lifting the Europa League this season, and was looking forward to a summer in Germany representing the Netherlands at the European Championships.

However, he will now miss the finals after pulling up injured ahead of his country's 4-0 friendly win over Iceland on Monday. Although in the squad for the last edition, Koopmeiners is yet to feature in a Euros game and so his injury will come with added frustration.

It does open a bigger window, though, for Liverpool to approach the player over a potential deal. The midfielder still has three years on his deal but told Atalanta earlier this year that he wishes to leave this summer.

Speaking in March, Koopmeiners hinted that he would be open to a Premier League move, stating: “I told Atalanta that next summer I want to leave. However, something really interesting must present itself in order to leave Bergamo.

“Already last year there was a concrete interest from Napoli but in the end, the clubs couldn’t find an agreement. My girlfriend and I love life in Italy, but for some clubs in England, I’d be willing to tolerate the rain!

“I would be lying if I said that I’m not aware of the interest from Juventus and a Premier League club. Naturally, I read the news too.”

Juventus have been linked with Koopmeiners, with some reports suggesting they are leading the race for him. The same speculation says Atalanta are keen to hold out for a big price for their player, meaning a transfer negotiations will not be quick.

Should Liverpool indeed wish to launch a pursuit of Koopmeiners, the player’s setback affords more time for talks to play out with an approach able to be made quicker. Perhaps first, though, Slot will wish to see how bad his setback is and how it would impact pre-season preparations.