The cheeky Liverpool and Fulham transfer swap deal that would see both sides emerge winners

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An alternative take on Liverpool's interest in this £60 million summer target.

Liverpool are currently staring down the barrel of a gun loaded with uncertainty and apprehension. In just a matter of months, a lot is going to change at Anfield as Jurgen Klopp's time as manager is quickly ticking down.

Since the German announced he would be leaving the club at the end of this season, time has been racing by. Klopp dropped his bombshell statement in January and it's now almost April, but the buzz of pushing for as many final season trophies as possible has created a bubble around the reality of what is to come. When the games are finished and the title is decided, that's when it will really sink in for Liverpool fans.

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There is still no concrete figure selected to replace Klopp, but the talks continue to clog up the transfer rumour mill. Alongside these ongoing stories, there are the player transfer rumours, the speculation over who will be sold in the summer, and of course, what the returning Michael Edwards and his new sporting director Richard Hughes can create together.

Plenty of high profile names have been linked to Anfield since the winter window and with this new chapter dawning, there is plenty of scope and reason for the club to enjoy a blockbuster haul of new signings. Amid this season's torrid bombardment of injuries, Liverpool need to recruit safety back-up options as well as household names who will slot straight into the starting lineup. Defenders appear to be the main priority ahead of the summer but Liverpool still haven't quite completely scratched their midfield itch either.

Last summer, the mass midfield exodus featuring Fabinho, James Milner and former captain Jordan Henderson left Klopp with wafer thin depth in his engine room. The injury-ridden Thiago became his most senior man, and his only option in the No.6 position was Stefan Bajčetić, who has made just 21 appearances for the Reds since breaking into the first team.

This is where the topic of Bajčetić's future and how he can potentially have an influence on Liverpool's summer spending comes in. The promising 19-year-old was touted as the next big star to emerge through the ranks at Liverpool — it certainly wouldn't have been surprising, anyway. After Trent Alexander-Arnold, Harvey Elliott, Conor Bradley and now the likes of Bobby Clark and Jayden Danns, Klopp and Liverpool can comfortably say they know what they're doing when it comes to nurturing young talent. Bajčetić was another headed for this list but others are now starting to catch him up.

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Will there be a space for the Spanish midfielder when he returns from injury? Not only do Liverpool now have seven options to rotate around the middle of the park, they are actively being linked to other engine room players, both attacking and defensive-minded. So where does that leave Bajčetić?

Injuries can really sucker-punch a player's growth within a team and sadly, the 19-year-old star has gone from the topic of conversation as Liverpool's next rising talent, to a forgotten option that the Reds cannot even say they miss, as he hasn't had enough time with the team to be missed. It's a similar story for the likes of Fábio Carvalho and Sepp van den Berg — both viewed as stars for the future but never really got going and are now probably headed for the door.

Bajčetić's current contract doesn't expire until 2027 so the Reds have plenty of time to make a decision on his future. But with him now back in training after a long injury absence, Liverpool could consider using him as bargaining chip to get one of their priority transfer targets.

Fulham's João Palhinha has been on Liverpool's radar for some time now, and reports continue to keep fans guessing over whether they are looking to move for him this summer or not. The Cottagers are said to be looking for £60 million for the 28-year-old, and despite originally standing firm on keeping him at the club, their minds have been changed.

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Fulham vice-chairman Tony Khan recently confirmed they will 'have to consider' sensible offers for Palhinha this summer, which could open up the door for Liverpool. There will likely be some wiggle room in how much money Fulham will accept for the Portuguese midfielder, which is where a cheeky suggestion of a swap deal could actually benefit all involved.

The Reds could bump down that £60 million asking price by including the permanent signing of Bajčetić as part of the deal. They have been searching for a solid No.6 for months, and while Wataru Endō has slotted in nicely since his arrival, Liverpool need a real marquee signing in each position.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp with Stefan Bajcetic. Picture: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty ImageLiverpool manager Jurgen Klopp with Stefan Bajcetic. Picture: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Image
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp with Stefan Bajcetic. Picture: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Image | Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Like Liverpool, Fulham have limited options in the defensive midfield role. Palhinha is their only natural No.6, so they will need to replace him if they cash in this summer. By taking on Bajčetić and some cash, they have two options. Marco Silva could opt to give the 19-year-old the nod as his first choice and use the money to invest elsewhere, or the club could buy a replacement and build Bajčetić up as his deputy.

Last year, Bajčetić earned praise from Klopp and Mohamed Salah, as the boss described him as 'a joy to work with' and admitted he had been trialling the No.8 position to boost his versatility. Salah hailed his teammate as 'a great player and person' who 'always tries to work hard'.

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Despite his limited time on the pitch, Bajčetić has impressed those at Liverpool, he just needs the opportunity to unleash his full potential. Providing him with a switch to a team where he could become their first choice, while gaining a top transfer target in return would tick boxes for all involved.

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